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The H1N1 flu virus is already here, and the seasonal flu is right around the corner. For most people who get the flu, there’s someone else trying to nurse them back to health. The local chapter of the American Red Cross is offering tips on how to protect your body and calm your mind while taking care of someone with the flu. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.
Anyone who’s been a caregiver knows that it can be stressful. When someone goes down with the flu, loved ones suddenly find themselves in the role of caregiver with little to no warning.
Joann Moore of the local chapter of the American Red Cross says since caregivers can experience symptoms of stress such as sleep disturbances, headaches and anxiety, it’s important that caregivers also take care of themselves.
They can do this, she says, by eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising and getting enough rest.
And that’s just for starters. Part of the challenge is to try to ensure that the caregiver doesn’t also get sick. Moore says it’s best if only one adult acts as the caregiver to the person with the flu, so as not to expose more people to the virus. She also recommends heavy-duty disinfecting.
"You can disinfect doorknobs, switches, handles, toys and other commonly handled surfaces in your home," Moore said. "You can use detergent and very hot water to do dishes and wash clothes," she said.
And for those of you who just like to be left alone when you’re sick instead of having someone hover over your every sneeze, Moore says it’s a good idea to stay in a room separated from common areas of the home as much as possible.
For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.