Winter is the prime time for the stomach flu to hit. According to the CDC, the most common stomach flu, norovirus, is most prevalent from November to April. When it hits, it spreads fast. It typically lasts for a few days, but it can take up to a week to feel better.
Key symptoms of the stomach flu are stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. A fever may appear. A headache and general soreness throughout the body are also possible. Dehydration is one of the biggest concerns due to the loss of fluids through diarrhea and vomiting. You must make sure your parents stay hydrated.
Serve Plenty of Soup
Your parents won’t have much of an appetite. Keep soups on hand while they recover. Avoid chunky soups. Bisque, broth, and consomme are easier to handle when nausea is a problem. Clear broth is often the best choice. Put the soup in a mug and let your parent take sips as needed.
Keep a Water Glass or Bottle Filled
Your parents won’t want to drink much water at once. Make sure a glass or bottle of water is close by. They can take sips throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is to take a sip every few minutes. If it’s hard for your parent to sip water, let them suck on ice chips instead.
Stock Up on Gatorade or Smartwater
Drinks that replenish lost sodium, potassium, and other vital minerals and vitamins will help. If your parent hates drinks like Gatorade or Powerade, try Smartwater or Pedialyte. Water down these drinks to make sure the sugar intake isn’t too excessive.
Ease the Nausea Naturally
Ginger is good at easing nausea. Mix fresh lemon juice, honey, ginger root, and hot water to help your parent keep blood sugar levels up while easing nausea. Ginger ale is also helpful, but try to avoid ginger ale that contains corn syrup. Make your own using a recipe you find online. Alton Brown’s recipe is one of the best. It does take 48 hours before it’s ready to drink.
Watch for Signs of Dehydration
Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration. They include a dry mouth and/or throat, lightheadedness, and infrequent urination. If you suspect your parent is dehydrated, seek medical care.
While your parent has the stomach flu, bring in a caregiver to help with laundry, light housework, and meals and snacks. Your mom and dad won’t have a lot of energy. Elderly care services help your parents get the rest they need and supervision to make sure they continually replace lost fluids.
Learn more about elderly care services available to your parents. Call a home care agency to get started.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring a Caregiver in Falls Church, VA, contact the caring staff at Access Home Care Inc. Proudly Serving Northern Virginia and Surroundings for over 12 years. Call Us: (703) 765-9350
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