Flu Shots: Taking Extra Precautions for Caregivers

Dorian Martin Health Guide
  • I hate having shots! But I made sure that I went to get the flu shot last week. That quick jab with the needle was uncomfortable, but I left the pharmacy knowing that I did a good deed for Mom.

    In my role as a caregiver, I am trying to think differently about my own preventative care. Anything I do has to have not only a benefit for me, but also provide some level of safeguard to my health that will prevent me from unwittingly harming Mom. You see, I don’t want to expose my mother or the other residents at the nursing home to a disease that has grave consequences for them. And as winter’s flu season quickly approaches, that commitment takes extra vigilance.
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    So I find that at this time of the year, I try to take extra precautions related to my health. I am drinking more orange juice and taking my vitamins. I’m constantly carrying a glass of water, which I sip from often. If I am going to take a snack over to Mom, I often pick up fruit smoothies with mine reinforced with vitamins that boost immunity. And I’m making sure that I’m getting the necessary amount of sleep and exercising on a regular basis. Plus I’m trying to keep my stress level down so that I don’t unnecessarily weaken my immunity.

    I watched last year when the flu became an unwelcome visitor to the secure unit where Mom resided. The disease attacked several people (including Mom) and sent them to the hospital. Some (including Mom) returned to the nursing home, but some succumbed to the flu.

    I feel it is my responsibility to maintain a consistent level of wellness. If I don’t feel good, I don’t go to see Mom. Then I double my efforts to feel better because taking precautions to keep my health is an important part of caregiving.

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Published On: November 06, 2006