Keep Your Lungs Healthy

November 3, 2017 - S F

This guest post is courtesy of E. Walsh, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

We want to help seniors in San Diego stay safe and healthy as cold and flu season approaches. Most people don’t think about their lungs until a problem develops, and by age 80 the average person has taken 672,768,000 breaths. All day every day your lungs work hard to keep your blood full of oxygen and your body healthy.

Here are some tips to help you and your lungs stay healthy this flu season:

Get a Flu Shot

It’s easy to underestimate the seriousness of the flu, but it’s also dangerous: 50% of people hospitalized with the flu are over age 65, and virtually all flu-related deaths occur among older individuals. This is unfortunate and preventable with an annual shot of the flu vaccine.

Flu shots are available in many places around San Diego. You can go to your pharmacy, make an appointment with your primary care provider, or visit a health clinic. Best of all, the flu shot is a benefit covered by Medicare, so there is no cost to you. Set up an appointment today and protect yourself against the flu.

Where to get a flu shot in San Diego.

Schedule a Medical Screening

Visiting a healthcare provider can be an anxiety-inducing experience — no one wants to receive bad news. You might also be worried about the cost, but we’re here to help.

Serving Seniors’ team at our Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center can connect you with a caring nurse who can help prepare you for what to expect during your appointment, and who can help you understand any results you receive after an exam. If you need assistance with Medicare or Medi-Cal we can connect you with a healthcare advocate.

We can also help you find low-cost or no-cost access to healthcare — it’s important to get regular access to the care you need to make sure your lungs are working properly. Tell your healthcare professional about any history of illness including asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, lung cancer or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Have a Clean, Safe Place to Live

Many respiratory illnesses start where you’re living. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can watch out for, to stay safe. Beware of what you’re breathing into your body, especially when it comes to dust, mold and asbestos.

Dust comes from a number of sources, including human and animal hair, pollen from plants, soil and other materials. Dust particles can be trapped in furniture, carpets, curtains, bedding and other surfaces. Regular cleaning and vacuuming helps reduce dust. You might also consider an air filter for your home.

Mold is another common hazard. It develops naturally in moist locations such as bathrooms, basements and any place where water collects. In some cases mold can make you very sick, especially if you have asthma or allergies. Regularly check your home and yard for standing water, leaks or drips and signs of mold growth. Fix leaks immediately and ensure that any water in your yard can quickly drain away from your home.

Asbestos is common in construction materials used in older buildings and homes, but is relatively safe when left alone and intact. However, when products containing the mineral are broken or damaged, asbestos fibers can become airborne, causing accidental exposure through inhalation. Over time, this can cause mesothelioma cancer. Asbestos can be found in a number of areas and construction materials, including basements, flooring, and walls. Never begin renovation without first having a professional assess the building materials of your home.

It’s extremely important to have a safe place to live. If you need more information about affordable housing options, please contact us.

Take Action

It can be easy to do nothing, but when it comes to flu prevention, medical screenings and a safe place to live, we can help. Take action and take care of yourself — you’ll gain peace of mind and be glad you did.

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