'Fight the Flu' kits help seniors avoid the virus - WDRB 41 Louisville News

'Fight the Flu' kits help seniors avoid the virus

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Doctors say the flu shot is just one weapon in the battle against the flu. Doctors say the flu shot is just one weapon in the battle against the flu.
Visiting Angels provides home care service to seniors and the company is putting together "fight the flu kits" for its elderly clients. Visiting Angels provides home care service to seniors and the company is putting together "fight the flu kits" for its elderly clients.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Fighting the flu with paper towels and pens? One company is helping its clients steer clear of the virus with a unique "fight the flu" kit.

Health experts say seniors are more likely to be hospitalized and die from the flu virus. Visiting Angels provides home care service to seniors and the company is putting together "fight the flu kits" for its elderly clients. 

"Ninety percent of all flu related deaths and half of all flu related hospitalizations occur in people 65 and over," said Andy Block, owner of Visiting Angels in Louisville, "So seniors are especially high risk for that given their weaker immune systems."

The kits are loaded with the obvious, things like hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, and water to stay hydrated. One item that seems out of place in the kit is pens. 

"Pens are probably some of the dirtiest objects that we touch," Block explained. "They're at the doctor's office, they're at the grocery store, when you sign in at the pharmacy, so we will provide our seniors with a clean pen, so they can take their own pen if they go in public."

Nurse Terie Simmons with Visiting Angels is always reminding patients of one of the most obvious guards against the flu. "Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands," she repeated.

But the fight the flu kit takes it a step further. 

"Sometimes elderly people and seniors don't do their laundry as often, so they may have an old hand towel in their bathroom harboring a lot of germs," Block explained. He suggests ditching the hand towel for flu season, and using paper towels instead.

The flu virus is "widespread" in both Kentucky and Indiana...that's the highest level of flu activity. According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, 32 people in Kentucky have died from the virus already this flu season. Of the 32, 29 were adults -- the majority of them elderly. 

More than 60 deaths in Indiana are linked to the flu.

Seniors who do not have anyone looking after them may also not notice symptoms as easily or take themselves to the doctor.

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