We have entered the months when winter is usually intensified by cold and changing temperatures. Therefore, it is very important to be aware of the main diseases that may affect the elderly this month in order to prepare and spend August calmly.
In the past two years, the incidence of respiratory diseases such as influenza or syncytial virus, which is unique to winter, has lagged behind due to the isolation of people and restrictions on the mobility of people caused by the new crown virus. However, with enrollment and return to school, these illnesses are showing up more and more, making it more difficult to get through August, especially for older adults.
So Dr. Carlos Garcia, a gerontologist at the Las Condes Clinic, details the main ailments that can affect them and what they should avoid this time of year. “This time of year, the diseases that most affect older adults are respiratory illnesses such as influenza, influenza, and RSV, which are often complicated by obstructive bronchitis and bronchopneumonia.”
Additionally, it details that syncytial virus, adenovirus, and influenza primarily affect children and the elderly. These conditions can lead to respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, colds, pharyngitis and, if not treated properly, obstructive bronchial syndrome and pneumonia.
Key recommendations for preventing such illnesses include frequent hand washing, physical distancing where possible, and proper ventilation of enclosed spaces.
Therefore, taking into account the increased transmission of the virus at this time of year, the experts of Clínica Las Condes propose the following:
- Avoid temperature changes and wrap in layers
A sudden change from a temperate to a cold environment, or vice versa, is often one of the most common causes of a cold. Therefore, it is very important to avoid sudden temperature changes. The best way to do this is by layering. That is, the first layer or T-shirt, the second layer or sweater, and the third layer or jacket. The idea is to avoid sweating in very hot places, and when leaving room temperature, the body cools down. The temperature of houses and rooms should not be higher than 20°C during the day and 18°C at night.
- Don’t Ignore Nutrition
While we tend to eat more carbohydrates such as potatoes, noodles, bread, and rice in the winter because they are classic ingredients in hot dishes, we can’t forget protein, fruits, and vegetables, either. This is key to consuming vitamins and nutrients that boost your immune system.
- stay active and keep the room ventilated
Often, older adults tend to wake up later due to some level of dependence or reduced mobility. However, it’s important not to neglect routine and start your day in bed. Personal care habits and physical space must be maintained. Therefore, it is recommended to keep closed spaces ventilated to renew the air and reduce the spread of viruses in the home. It’s important to get up, move, and move as often as possible each day.
- Chronic disease control and care for Covid
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, joint problems or blood pressure problems also tend to emerge as we age. It is important not to ignore this aspect and to follow the established routine of seeing your GP. Older adults should avoid self-medication and most importantly don’t lower their arms when self-care for COVID-19. Maintaining the habit of sanitizing your hands, using masks in confined spaces, and a thorough vaccination schedule is critical.
An important concern is avoiding close proximity to school-age children due to the prevalence of viral infections and avoiding congregations with multiple people in closed and poorly ventilated settings. Again, it’s best to stay home and not be exposed to changes in outdoor temperatures.
So the phrase “get through August” has become more myth than reality because by applying all of these tips, your immune system will most likely be better able to fight off the winter viruses currently circulating in our country.