How can I prevent the flu as I age?
As you age, taking steps to prevent the flu (influenza) becomes even more important. Men and women who are 65 years of age and older who get the flu have a higher risk for complications, which can include: pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections. To lower your risk for the flu, take these steps:
- Get the flu vaccine every year as soon as it's available. Adults over the age of 65 should consider getting the high-dose version of the vaccine if available since it has been shown to be more effective than the standard dose in this population.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. When soap and water aren't available, use alcohol-based hand cleaners.
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose as much as possible.
- Avoid contact with people who have the flu.
- If you have close contact with someone who has the flu, consider asking your doctor about taking an antiviral medication.
Learn more about the cold and flu.