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The Truth about the Common Cold

How long can cold germs live on bathroom sink?


The cold germs can live on bathroom sink for 3 hours. They can also survive for that long on things like your kitchen counter and that doorknob your preschooler just touched after wiping his nose without a tissue. If someone in your house has a cold, wipe surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant.


True or False: By the time you have cold symptoms, you are not contagious any more  

True, Colds spread most easily before your symptoms start and during the first 2-4 days after they begin. You don’t have to hide in a bubble, but try to avoid close contact with others when you’re sick, and wash your hands frequently. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough — or use the crook of your elbow. (You don’t usually touch people or objects with your elbow, so you’re less likely to spread germs than if you cover your mouth with your bare hand.)


What causes cold?

The answer is Viruses. There are more than 200 that make you sick, and the rhinovirus is the most common. Antibiotics don’t work against viruses. They’re designed to fight bacteria. Using them to treat a cold not only doesn’t help, it can be hazardous.


True or False: If you go out with wet hair when it’s chilly, you will probably catch a cold    

False, Don’t go out with that wet head, you’ll catch your death of cold!” Despite your mom’s warnings, it doesn’t put you at greater risk. You might feel chilled and uncomfortable, but colds are spread by germs, not the temperature


People catch more colds in winter because you spend more time indoors

Colds are spread by close contact, and in the winter we spend a lot more time inside, keeping warm. That means we’re more exposed to other people — and their germs. Winter air is also much drier than the air in spring and summer, and cold viruses tend to thrive in low humidity. (Running a humidifier in your bedroom during the coldest winter months can help with cold symptoms.)


True or False: Vitamin C helps prevent catching a cold or shortens a cold if you already have one  

Some people swear by vitamin C. But there is very little proof that vitamin C has any effect on the average person with a common cold. Studies have shown that very high doses of vitamin C may reduce your chance of getting a cold, but only under certain circumstances. High doses of vitamin C can hurt the kidneys and can cause nausea and diarrhea.

Echinacea is one of the best-selling herbal products in the U.S., but many researchers believe there is no proof that it has a benefit for people with colds.



When your preschooler has a cold, the best treatment is rest and lots of fluids

The best remedy for him is an old-fashioned one: Stay in bed and get plenty to drink. Don’t give over-the-counter cold and cough medications to children under age 4. There’s no evidence that these medicines help children. Some believe the possible benefits are not worth the risk.


Grandma was right, chicken soup can help relieve a cold.

It helps break up your stuffy nose. Some studies suggest that it curbs the inflammation that leads to a sore throat. And when you’re feeling run-down, the combination of lean protein and vegetables can help boost your strength to fight off illness.


The best way to prevent a cold is by Wash hands thoroughly and regularly

Here’s how to do it right: Wet your hands first, then apply soap, and scrub for at least 20 seconds. That’s how long it takes you to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Hand sanitizers can also be a good supplement to handwashing.


True or False: Even if your child seems to get a cold every month, it’s probably not a sign of a more serious problem.

True, Kids get between 6 and 10 colds every year — including spring and summer — so it’s not unusual for your child to be sniffling and sneezing every other month, or even more often. If he’s in day care, preschool, or another setting where he spends a lot of time with other kids, he’ll get exposed to lots of germs.


True or False: It’s probably the flu not just a cold if you have a high fever.

Some people do run a slight fever along with a cold, but if you have a high temperature it’s more likely the flu or a complication. Fatigue, while more common with the flu, also happens with colds.


Stressed out? You are more likely to catch a cold.

It’s not just your yoga teacher trying to persuade you to take another class: Studies show that people are more likely to catch a cold when they’re under stress. You may be more vulnerable to getting sick if you face stress that lasts more than 1 month, like trouble at work or problems in your family relationships.


True or False: If you have a runny nose, green-tinged mucus means nothing, it is normal    

Mucus from a runny nose often changes color during a cold, sometimes several times. It’s usually clear at first and then changes to a white or yellowish color as your immune system fights back. Green-tinged mucus means the bacteria that normally live in your nose are growing back. All of this is normal and shouldn’t cause you to panic.


True or False: The flu vaccine also works for colds  

It only protects you from the virus that causes the flu. Scientists are trying to create a vaccine for the common cold, but it’s a tough job because there are hundreds of viruses that can cause one. It probably will be many years before any vaccine is effective against colds.



Dealing with Depression

Have you been feeling anxious or blue lately, and you can’t shake that feeling? If

so, you’re not alone. One in five seniors has mental health challenges. It’s a

Canadian health crisis, yet we’re often hesitant to discuss it because there’s still

stigma, or negative stereotypes, around mental illness. Seniors face unique risks

for developing depression. As we age, we may feel increasingly isolated or lack

community support. A change in mental health could also be related to medical

conditions, reduced mobility, physiological changes in the brain, or life events

such as financial strain, the loss of a spouse or moving out of the family home.

People with a family history of mental illness, or who have experienced

depression before, are especially vulnerable. Late-life depression is not a normal

part of aging. Anyone experiencing symptoms such as a persistent depressive

mood, sleeping problems, changes in appetite, difficulties with memory or

concentration, negative thoughts, or thoughts of death and suicide should seek

help immediately. The majority of older adults respond well to treatment.

Seniors can also support their mental health by staying active, such as

participating in activities at their retirement home, exercising regularly and

socializing with friends and family.

Contact White Wings Home Care Services for more information




The 5 Main Warning Signs of a Stroke

home care london ontario

Helping More Seniors Get Care They Need at Home

Ontario Improving Access to Home and Community Care in the London Area

Seniors in London and the rest of southwestern Ontario are receiving better access to home care and community supports to help them live independently and at home longer.

Ontario is providing nearly $21 million to support home care for more seniors and for expanded community health care services, including mental health supports, in the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).

This investment will support programs that reduce unnecessary emergency room and hospital readmissions, including:


  • Expanding Home First, which helps patients move from hospital to home faster with additional community services.
  • Adding more spaces at day programs that provide seniors and adults with complex needs with personal care services including medication administration, mealtime assistance and blood pressure checks.
  • Increasing overnight caregiver respite support through Behavioural Support Ontario to allow four nights per month at five providers across the LHIN for the families of seniors who are living with dementia or have other behavioural challenges.


Improving access to home care and community supports is a key priority of Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care and helps to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This is part of the Ontario government’s economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.