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Medical Director of Renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home Offers Advice to Seniors on Avoiding Swine Flu

RESEDA, Calif., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The medical director for the Los Angeles Jewish Home, the largest single-source provider of senior residential housing in the western United States, today shared the Home's recommendations for symptoms seniors should be on the lookout for and precautions to take as fear of swine flu continues to spread throughout the world.

"The symptoms are very similar to that of the flu bugs we're all familiar with," said Dr. Rick Smith, Jewish Home medical director. "These include fatigue, coughing, muscle ache, fever, chills, and sometimes stomach problems."

Smith advises seniors need to be especially aware of any changes they may notice in their health. "Those who experience flu-like symptoms should refrain from work, avoid being around other people, or traveling until symptom-free for at least 24-48 hours," he said.

As with any flu, the elderly are particularly susceptible and encouraged to take precautions. Dr. Smith recommends that due to increased health risks for seniors, they should seek medical attention immediately upon experiencing symptoms.

Unlike most cases of swine flu (a common respiratory disease in pigs that doesn't usually spread to people), this strain appears to be a sub-type not seen before and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this one can spread from person to person.

Dr. Smith pointed out that most of the cases at this time are related to trips to Mexico or contact with those who have been in that country. "Increased vigilance and contacting a doctor are always necessary with older patients," Smith said. Besides taking it easy, he encourages seniors to drink lots of fluids and take acetaminophen for pain. "Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and cover your mouth when you cough."

Though it is not known exactly how severe this outbreak will be, preliminary evidence suggests that it will be more benign than many worst-case pandemic scenarios. Experts now believe it may do much less damage than the usual flu outbreaks that occur each winter.

Founded in 1912, the world-renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home is one of the foremost multi-level senior living communities in the United States and the largest single-source provider of senior housing in Los Angeles. In total, the Home annually serves more than 1,700 seniors through our extraordinary continuum of services. Each year, more than 1,200 women and men are cared for in-residence on two village campuses, with services including independent-living "Neighborhood Home" accommodations, residential care, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitative care, acute psychiatric care, Alzheimer's disease and dementia care. Another 500 seniors are served through the Home's community-based programs, which includes Skirball Hospice and community clinics. The Home is a nonprofit organization that relies upon donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to continue its remarkable work. Further information regarding the Home can be found online at or by calling 818-757-4407.

SOURCE Los Angeles Jewish Home
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