'Tis the season for coughs, colds and the flu. Staying healthy can be tough for anyone, especially seniors who can be more vulnerable to getting sick. In one year's time, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that seniors age 65 years and older visit their doctor roughly 234 million times! For those seniors with breathing sensitivities, the air they breathe is also a factor. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air within homes can be more seriously polluted than outdoor air. Other research also indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, thus increasing health risks due to added exposure of indoor air pollutants. Be a savvy senior this winter by using the following tips to help you feel your best. Stop the Spread of Airborne Germs
According to Dr. Kelly Reynolds, a microbiologist at The University of Arizona, "Reducing the spread of germs in the air this time of year is a good idea, especially during the winter months when people spend more times indoors and the chances for catching a cold or flu bug increase." The Germ Guardian UV-C room air sanitizer is an effective way to help eliminate contagious germs from the air. According to studies at the Harvard School of Public Health, it kills 99.9 percent of targeted airborne germs that can cause cold and flu, pneumonia, tuberculosis, staph infections and more. It harnesses the power of naturally occurring UV-C light technology, the same technology hospitals use to sanitize surfaces and the air; making it a better way to kill germs without having to use harmful chemicals. It also can reduce odors and allergens in your home. Available at Lowe's, this portable unit is stainless steel, lightweight and perfect for any room in your home. Simply plug it in and let it run. The only maintenance required is to replace the special UV-C bulb once a year. Safety Comes First
During the winter months not only do we need to protect ourselves from the elements outside, but also take precautions to make sure we're safe indoors: Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly and new batteries are installed. More fires occur during the winter months than any other time of year. Have a trained professional inspect and clean your central heating system (furnaces, flues and chimneys) and make any necessary repairs. Install a carbon monoxide (CO2) alarm. Since it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO2 can be fatal. Breathe Easy with Cleaner Air
When people spend more time indoors with the windows closed it allows viruses and bacteria to build-up, as well as allergens and mold spores, according to Neil Schachter M.D. author of Good Doctor's Guide to Colds and Flu (Collins). If keeping windows open during the winter months isn't an option, consider keeping the air cleaner with an air purifier. Germ Guardian's new Table Top air purifier is a complete air cleansing system that captures allergens, kills germs and destroys mold spores and odors. It's compact and perfect to keep on the nightstand or even at the office and is available at Lowe's for less than $70. Indoor humidity can be extremely low in the winter, which can dry out your skin and mucous membranes, making you more susceptible to getting sick. A humidifier is a great way to add extra humidity to the air. Older humidifiers can grow slimy mold and bacteria in the water tank and send it out into the room. Germ Guardian has a new ultrasonic table top humidifier that is germ-free thanks to nano-silver technology. Small nano-silver particles have been embedded into the water tank to help fight the growth of microbes such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Silver is known to kill over 650 species of bacteria simply by coming into contact with them. The Germ Guardian Table Top humidifier water tank is free of contaminants so clean, fresh water vapor is sent into the room. It also uses ultrasonic technology for quiet operation while you sleep.