As part of Paradigm’s blog series to help you prepare for flu season, we’ve covered when and why to get a flu shot, as well as additional actions you can take to protect your health this season. You may also want to stock up on wellness supplies, so you can limit your exposure to sick people during the season and avoid spreading germs if you or your loved ones do become ill. Below are recommendations on what to get.
Supplies to Stock before Flu Season Begins
Gathering wellness supplies now means you can spend less time at the drug store during flu season – which can protect you from getting germs from others who are out for provisions, and prevent you from spreading germs if you are infected. From medications to comfort items, here are a few things you may want to have on hand:
Prescription medications or medical supplies – Don’t get caught without your regular prescriptions or other supplies you use to manage an existing health condition, such as insulin and strips for diabetes, rescue inhaler medicine for asthma, or oxygen for COPD
Fluids – It’s important to stay hydrated when you are sick, so keep plenty of your favorite beverages and other sources of hydration on hand. Water, sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade), juice, herbal tea, broth-based soups, popsicles, Pedialyte (for children), and ginger ale (for nausea) are all good choices.
Honey or Butterscotch candies – These can help reduce coughing or soothe a sore throat.
Fever-reducers – Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin can reduce fever and relieve pain.
Saline drops or gel – Unlike nasal decongestant sprays which can have negative long-term side effects, natural salt-water remedies keep nasal passages moisturized and promote natural drainage. Neti pots may also be helpful for some.
Oral Cold and Sinus meds – Cough suppressants, expectorants, and decongestants are fine for adults. Review ingredients in multi-symptom products carefully, so you don’t double up on acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Boxes of tissues – Stock up so you don’t have to be stingy – throw tissues away immediately after the first use.
Basic hygiene supplies – Toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, and alcohol-based hand cleaners are other items you don’t want to run out of.
Cool-mist humidifier – These add moisture to the air, which can ease coughing and congestion. And unlike steam vaporizers, they pose no risk of burn.
Good thermometer – To monitor your temperature. It is important to check for fever as an early flu symptom. Avoid spreading germs by remembering to stay away from others until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducer.
Antiviral treatments – If you are at high risk for complications, your doctor may prescribe Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or Zanamivir (Relenza) Orperamivir (Rapivab), so you can be ready to start taking them within 48 hours if you develop flu symptoms.
Comfort items – A soft blanket, comfy pillow, good books or magazines, a favorite movie or tv show, and soothing music can make your recovery more manageable.
Keeping these basics at the ready ensures you will be prepared for whatever the season brings.
Support Throughout the Season
Talk with your Paradigm care team if you have any questions about your health or handling flu season. We understand your priorities and values for this stage of life, and we are here to support you.
By taking preventative measures like getting a flu shot and practicing healthy habits, and preparing with everything you need for a few days of rest and recovery at home, you and your loved ones will be ready to face flu season and more likely to have energy for holiday traditions and winter weather ahead.
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Paradigm Living Concepts offers a unique combination of premier Home Health, Hospice and Palliative Care services to Central Indiana. We're proud to be Hoosiers caring for Hoosiers working with local families to maintain and maximize quality of life through compassionate caregiving in a personal setting. Learn more from our founder Jeff Jarecki.