Does the cold & flu season affect your rehabilitation progress?
Colds and the flu are a threat year-round, but there is also a definite cold and flu season that runs from October through March - with December to February being the months with the highest risk of infection.
When you are already weak physically and in the process of recovery following an operation, accidental injury, or other problem - you need to be even more careful than usual to make sure you don't get a cold or the flu.
What Are The Dangers Of A Cold Or The Flu During Rehabilitation?
Can a cold or flu affect your rehabilitation progress? It sure could, if you were to come down with one, which is why you want to rely on a rehabilitation center that practices extreme hygiene and is constantly on guard to protect you against this possibility.
You also want a rehab center that, should you get sick while in their care (whatever the reason), can immediately deliver you the care you need to beat the flu or a cold AND will know how to adjust your rehabilitation program to the new situation.
Complications from illnesses, including colds/the flu, can be quite serious at times. And seniors, children under age 5, pregnant women, and those with preexisting chronic conditions are, particularly at risk. Proper care can minimize the risk, however, even while you are in rehab.
Possible complications include dehydration, bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, myocarditis, pericarditis, and myositis. These are potentially serious, but preventable and manageable conditions.
How Can I Prevent Getting Sick While Undergoing Rehab?
First of all, choose a center that offers a clean and comfortable living environment. Superior climate control, private shower rooms, sufficient living space, access to fresh, outdoor air via a porch or patio, and daily cleaning services (if you can't do it yourself) are a big help.
Next, be sure your facility of choice has skilled nursing care and therapists looking after you (or your loved one) who are both highly skilled and genuinely conscientious. A caring staff can help you protect yourself against sickness by giving good advice, performing certain tasks for you, and monitoring you for any changes so any potential illness would be caught as early as possible.
Also, you have to think about the food you will be eating during rehabilitation. There should be both in-room foodservice and on-campus dining opportunities. All meals should be healthy, clean and safe, and appropriate to your therapy-specific dietary needs.
Finally, it helps to avoid sickness if you keep active. Within the limits of your current condition, you want to engage in as many activities physically and socially as you can to bolster your immune health and speed up recovery. Therapy gyms, rec centers, and socializing "zones" are a nice touch to any rehab center.
Catching a cold or the flu during rehab need not end rehabilitation and it may or may not delay it a significant length of time. But the potential complications and unpleasantness of such a scenario are certainly to be avoided if at all possible. That's why it pays to choose your rehabilitation center wisely, especially during cold and flu season.