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Q: How can I protect myself and others from the flu?

Posted February 13, 2013 in Advice Column, Greene County

A: As we continue to walk through the peak of flu season here in Greene County, there are a few things we would like to remind family and visitors of the elderly population:

• If you are sick do not visit the facility or your loved one. Your phone calls are always welcome, but it is our job to protect a very flu-susceptible population.

• If you have had active coughing or a cold we ask that you grab a mask while entering the facility and wear it, as some cough droplets can travel and remain “alive” for 16 feet.

• Please wash your hands entering your loved one’s room and exiting the room. If you are visiting a resident in the commons area there are hand sanitizers available in all visiting areas and we encourage the public to use them.

• Lastly, we recommend that during this peak flu season that all visitors check in with a staff member before entering their private room so we can be proactive about any active symptoms of the resident, family and visitors.

A general rule of thumb to use when unsure whether to visit an elderly person is to ask yourself, “Do I have any symptoms that might spread and put them at risk?” If unsure, then wait to visit and call. We will post a sign on the facility when the flu peak has cleared.

Remember, handwashing is your best defense against the flu.

Information provided by Kathryn Allen, activity director/social services Regency Park Nursing and Rehab Center, 100 Ram Drive, Jefferson, 515-386-4107.

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