Flu Prevention Tips for Senior Living Staff

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Flu Prevention Tips for Senior Living Staff

Posted on 08Nov

Come autumn, and through winter each year, senior living staff aim to prevent flu at work. Flu can spread easily if it comes into a senior living community (or any style of a residential living community) and residents over 65 are at high risk for flu-related complications.

Preventing flu in senior living communities is best achieved as a group effort. Staff should get flu shots, learn about the flu, stop germs from spreading, and live healthy lifestyles.

Prevent Flu at Work in Senior Living

Before flu season, senior living staff should commit to preventing flu together.  Prepare by having a plan if flu comes; know if and when flu shots are available to employees; and ensure several people know how to do a job if a staff member gets the flu and needs their shift covered.

Get A Flu Shot

The best way to prevent flu in senior living is for staff and residents to get an annual flu shot. Those who wish to get a flu shot should consult their medical professionals and disclose their allergies to them. Those with a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome should not get the flu shot.

Typically, flu is strongest in December, January, and February in the United States, but it can come earlier. Staff should ideally get the flu shot in late September or early October, but it is never too late to get vaccinated. It takes two weeks for a flu shot to become fully effective.

Preventing the flu goes beyond just getting the shot. Stop illness from coming and spreading by learning about it and knowing how to combat it.

Five Flu Facts

A great line of defense against flu is being educated about it. Know what flu is and how it spreads to help prevent it.

  • What is the flu? The flu is a contagious respiratory illness brought on by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Types A and B, and their sub-types are responsible for annual epidemics.
  • How does flu spread? Flu is believed to spread through tiny droplets when people with a flu cough, sneeze, or talk. The droplets can transfer to mouths or noses of those within six feet. They can also reach a surface and live there for two hours or more that a person may touch and transfer to their mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • If a person catches flu, how long is it between exposure and infection? The time between flu exposure and infection is often two days, but can be one to four.
  • How long is a person with flu contagious? Those with flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness starts, and they can pass it on before or while knowing they are sick.
  • Who is most at risk for flu-related complications? Those who are 65 or older, young children, pregnant women, and those with chronic conditions like asthma or heart disease are higher at risk for complications related to flu.

Five Ways to Prevent Germ Spreading

To preventing senior living communities from flu, employees need to practice good personal-hygiene and self-care at work and home. There are many recommended germ-spreading prevention practices.

  • Avoid close contact with others if sick. If an employee is sick and can stay home, they should do so, especially if they have a fever or a cough. If caring for a senior who is ill, staff should wear gloves or a face mask to avoid germ transfer. Staff should still be attentive and caring while helping those with the flu.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Staff members and residents should have access to tissues, and use them as needed. Used tissues should go straight into a waste basket. If a tissue is not available, sneezing into the upper sleeve or elbow is better than hands.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water for 15 or 20 seconds, several times daily. Definitely wash hands after coughing or sneezing. Sanitize hands to clean them several times daily if water is not available.
  • Avoid contact with eyes, nose, and mouth. Though it may require self-reminding, this can prevent flu from spreading.
  • Clean with disinfectant. Use a disinfectant to clean places people touch, like doorknobs, telephones, sink faucets, light and lamp switches, coffee tables, art materials, books, etc. Avoid breathing in chemicals and clean away from others, as breathing in disinfectants can be harmful.

Five Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Living a healthy lifestyle can help with immunity, illness recovery, overall health, and flu prevention.

  • Exercise often. Try to get 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week.
  • Get enough sleep. If under 65, get seven to nine hours of sleep at night.
  • Eat nutritious foods and drink enough fluids. Follow a healthy dietary plan, like the Mediterranean Diet! Have a daily fluid intake of about 15.5 cups (for men) or 11.5 cups (for women).
  • Manage stress. Take care of stress with exercise, writing, deep breathing, and trying to have a positive outlook.
  • Keep medical appointments. Make sure to go to the doctor, dentist, and/or medical specialist, as needed.

Flu prevention in senior living is a multi-part process and it definitely takes a village, but a prepared team can be successful! Try out these tips for keeping staff and residents as healthy as possible through the fall and winter seasons.


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Interview Preparation: Importance of Company Research

Posted on 26Mar

This article is first in a series of articles on Preparing for a Job Interview. Check back in to read more tips for questions to be prepared for in your interview!

On your job hunt, once you’ve managed to secure an interview, you may already feel pretty accomplished. After all, you’ve found a job you feel suits you, completed an application, shared your resume and cover letter, and a potential new employer is interested in speaking further with you. It’s a great position to be in. It’s also the crucial point when preparation could propel you forward into a new position or lack of preparedness could hold you back. To seize the position you seek, there are many ways to indicate to an employer that you are prepared for the interview – and the job.

Prepare for a Job Interview by Conducting Company Research

Prepare for Your Job Interview with Company Research | Radiant CareersPreparing for an interview should start as soon as you are offered one! One way to begin your preparation is to research the company that you are interviewing with and think about what you can offer that company and what you hope to gain from being employed at that company.

If you haven’t already, make sure you look at the company’s website, their mission statement, their “About Us,” and their social media. Know what they do and why they do it and be prepared to tell them why you want to be part of that. Begin compiling questions you have for them about the information they may not offer online, or which you would like them to expand upon. Come up with at least five open-ended questions to ask in your interview.

Questions to Consider Asking in Your Interview:

  • Are there opportunities for advancement?
  • Can you describe your corporate culture?
  • What challenges, if any, is the company facing?
  • What are your plans for growth going forward?
  • How many employees do you have company-wide?
  • Who do you consider your direct competition?
  • What types of skills are you seeking in your ideal candidate for this role?

Note: Use our Interview Prep Free Download to take note of your questions!

Tips for Preparing for your Senior Living Job Interview

Senior Living is similar to other industries in that your interview prep for a senior living job will take many of the same steps as listed above. In addition to the questions you’ve found above, you may consider some industry-specific questions to ask yourself and to consider before taking a job.

Senior Living Specific Questions to Consider Asking in Your Interview:

  • What was your latest state survey score and how did your team address any issues found during the survey process?
  • What would my role be in working with your residents?
  • What specific training or certifications are required to do this job successfully? Is training provided?

Click the below image to receive your FREE digital download of this article plus our Interview Prep: Company Research Worksheet.

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