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Advice - older people catching coughs and colds from kids

As we gardeners on here seem to be an older bunch, possibly, I thought many people may have experienced this…..
Our friends who we do a lot of activities with are a bit older than us, and have young grandchildren staying for the weekend every other weekend. The kids live in the city and get shipped out to them in countryside. 
Our friends catch whatever coughs and sniffles are going round at school/nursery, but are absolutely knocked out by them.  It’s a fairly regular thing that they are only just about better when the kids come again. 
On a purely selfish note we would like our chums back, but for them I don’t think they are enjoying this phase of their lives. 
Do other people have this? Is it to be endured or is there an answer or magic potion ? I think they are generally fit and healthy people. They didn’t seem prone to such things before the kids, but then COVID and lockdown may have had an affect on resistance to infections.


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,828
    I think your friends should be careful. People are more vulnerable to infection as they get older, immune system weakens. I think they should talk to their children about it.

    I have 4 children and 14 grandchildren. The children often catch mild infections, their parents don't always catch their illnesses as they have probably deveoped antibodies. If a visit is planned and a child is ill the visit is usually postponed. I don't see them so often as your friends, distance and business of their lives.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • I think that if I noticed I was succumbing to more coughs and colds etc, I might start taking supplemental zinc to boost my immune system.  At the moment my diet contains quite a lot of zinc (shellfish etc) but perhaps as I age I won't get out to purchase fresh shellfish (Cromer cfabs etc) as often as I do now, so a supplement might be the way to go.  

    Also as you say, we've all been away from social situations where, in earlier days, we were exposed to 'germs' and built a resistance, for the past 2 years we've avoided such things so are probably much more susceptible now.  Hopefully this year we'll get back to more 'normal' activities and build up our immunities again.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,837
    Your friends need to learn to say no. 
    There are a lot of people who are frightened of saying no, but they need to make it clear to their offspring that they're unwell. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,837
    My sister has a friend who gets that treatment all the time @pansyface,  from the daughter and SIL. They make her drive to their house to look after their weans [she's about an hour away, at least] and don't even give her the petrol money, despite both having well paid jobs etc. That's only the gist of it. 
    I know what I'd be saying, and the 2nd word would be 'off'.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,952
    edited December 2022
    Many people seem to be terrified of losing the relationship with grandchildren if they say No to having them across every time it suits the parents of the grandchildren.  My neighbours were determined that they wouldn't do daycare or have fixed babysitting nights when their grandchildren came along.  Within 18 months they had the grand daughter 2 days a week, and had to arrange their lives around them.  The parents were both in very well paid jobs but, in their words, "didn't want to waste money on child minders".
    Our neighbour was geniunely scared of losing contact as that had happened when her other son divorced.
  •  I agree @Fairygirl .... I don't have any schoolage relatives ... there are definite bonuses to that situation  ;)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Songbird-2Songbird-2 Posts: 2,261
    Our kids know to stay away from us if they or us have any cough or colds. It must be the result of many years saying to them," no, please don't come this time, in case we /they pass on their coughs etc" ( or words to that effect) and the kids seem to have taken the hint.
    There doesn't need to be a confrontation for friends @a1154, but a comment say" let's postpone this visit until they/us are over ..(whatever) ......" and that way, the door is left open for future visits. The family need to know that the older we get, we are more prone to picking up things quicker and take far longer to recover from them.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,837
    @KT53 - I know someone who threatened her mother with never seeing her grandson again if she didn't get what she wanted. I'm not going to say what that something was, partly because you probably wouldn't believe me, but also because it relates to my job when I was working. Owner's [spoilt] daughter and certain 'privileges' she got.

    People are generally frightened to say 'no' to their children right from the start. I used to work in a Playgroup. 3 yr olds. It beggared belief.  :/
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • chicky said:
    I have friends that swear by echinacea supplements to keep colds at bay.  Best do some research first though, as they are not suitable for everyone.
    My wife has echinacea drops at this time of year, and stays mainly clear of colds. However, because of my condition and the meds I take, I'm advised not to take echinacea.
    Result? I get colds and similar bugs!!

    I've just come down with my first cold/bug of the year - and that's since having COVID in January!!
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