Once heating systems are turned on and windows are closed, it’s common for the air inside to become much drier. This can be unhealthy. Dry air dries out the sinuses. This increases the risk of picking up a virus as one job of your nasal mucus is to trap infections.
Dry air increases the risk of asthma, bronchitis, nosebleeds, and sinus infections. It also can dry out the skin causing itching, flaking, and cracked skin. If your parents’ house is dry, there are things you can do to help them avoid these common issues.
Run a Humidifier
Humidity levels in a home should be between 30 and 50 percent. Higher than that can lead to mold and mildew. Lower levels increase the risk of sinus issues and static. A humidifier is one of the easiest ways to add humidity to dry air.
The humidifier needs to be maintained. Use clean the water tank periodically with a recommended cleaner or mixture of water and white vinegar or bleach. This keeps bacteria from forming. It also helps avoid the risk of mildew from forming inside the machine.
Use an Air Purifier
Remove germs, dust, and pet dander that adds to the sinus irritation. An air purifier does this. Look for a unit that has a HEPA filter. Some need replacing every few months, while others have permanent filters that you clean each month or a few times a year.
Shower with the Door Open
If possible, have your parents shower with their bathroom door open. This releases the humidity of the bathroom into the rest of the home. It’s an efficient way to boost humidity levels without using a machine and electricity.
Make sure your mom and dad remain hydrated in the winter. The dry air can also cause dehydration. If your parents drink plenty of water throughout the day, you help keep moisture in the body where it belongs. Experts at the Mayo Clinic say men should consume and drink about three liters of water each day. Women need about two liters.
Some of the water comes from the foods they eat, so look for water-rich foods like melon, tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery to help with hydration.
Don’t let your parents try to do it all when they’re not feeling great. When cold and flu season hits, it’s a good time to look at elder care services that can help them while they recover from a virus or sinus infection. Elder care aides can do the housework, make a pot of soup, and make sure your parents drink plenty of fluids. Call an elder care agency to discuss prices and schedules.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Winston-Salem, NC please contact the caring staff at Affordable Family Care. Serving Raleigh, Greensboro, and the surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call today 919-676-1070.
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