Self-Care Practices of Common Cold and Influenza among the Elderly in Alexandria, Egypt
International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Self-care is the most common and fundamental form of health care. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the self-care practices of cold and influenza among the elders. Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional design was used over a period of three months (January-March 2014). Interviews were conducted with 192 elders recruited from all elderly clubs in Alexandria. Results: Hot / cold fluids intake and administration of medications were the most common categories of self-care practices (97.9%
... and 89.1% respectively). The most commonly used medications were aspirin and analgesics (97.1%), followed by antitussives (70.2%) and antibiotics (48.5%). Regarding seeking physician help, only one third of the elders (35.4%) reported they would visit a physician. The most common criterion mentioned for seeking professional assistance was unusual patterns of symptoms (42.6%) and increased severity of symptoms (39.8%). The results also showed that the highest percentage of elders (63.0%) used traditional medicine during their illness. While, only 7.8 % of the elders obtained influenza vaccine. Conclusion: Elders were very active self-care agents, reporting both a large number and a variety of cold and influenza related self-care actions. Clearly, further research about general patterns and specific self-care actions taken by elderly in response to a variety of health deviations is needed.