Donegal group highlight dangers to elderly as flu outbreak continues


WALSALL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08:  A pensioner holds his walking stick on September 8, 2014 in Walsall, England. Britain is facing multiple problems stemming from an increase in the elderly proportion of its population, including increasing health care costs, strains on its social security system, a shortage of senior care workers and challenges to the employment market.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

As concerns heighten around the significant increase in cases of flu, the Home Instead Senior Care group is warning that the lives of elderly people must be protected during the current outbreak.

Yesterday GP and former TD Dr James McDaid suggested extending school closures as a solution to combat the spread.

However Home Instead Senior Care's Donegal Manager Rosaleen Ferry says early intervention is key to avoid more serious symptoms.

According to a new study of nurses in Ireland, the winter is the height of hospitalisation season for seniors due primarily to respiratory infections, such as flu or pneumonia, and other winter hazards.

Rosaleen Ferry, Manager of Home Instead Senior Care in Donegal has advised that a critical factor in reducing this spike in hospitalisations is family involvement in senior care.

Should concerns arise about older loved ones she is urging other family members to intervene and take them to the GP early to avoid getting sick and potential hospitalisation.

Nearly all nurses (96.6%) surveyed say that the role families play in keeping seniors out of the hospital is just as important as the role of the medical community.

Ms.Ferry concluded by saying that keeping older people safe at home and out of the hospital starts with family intervention and it could be as simple as making sure your older loved one, family member or friend has received the flu vaccine.

The most common action by seniors that puts them at risk of hospitalisation is waiting too long to seek medical attention, according to the nurses surveyed.