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WAUKEE, Iowa — The risk of senior citizens being hospitalized spikes during the winter months.

Hospitalizations among seniors for things like the flu, pneumonia and other winter hazards like falling greatly increase during January, February and March.

However, a new study suggests 49 percent of senior hospitalizations can be prevented.

Companies like ‘Home Instead Senior Care‘ are helping families keep their loved ones in their own homes and away from the hospital.

The company helps families with non-medical home care, like meal preparation, trips to doctor appointments and assistance taking medication.

They say families need to stay active in their loved ones lives to help prevent a snow ball effect that can happen when a senior is hospitalized.

“Things like seasonal flu are going to happen but one big thing that does happen is once a senior is hospitalized maybe for something else totally preventable like a fall for example but once they get there they`re exposed to every other bug out there and that`s one of the reasons people should do whatever they can to try and stay out of the hospital this time of year,” says Amy Alden with Home Instead Senior Care.

Experts say keeping seniors at home and out of the hospital starts with a family wanting to be involved in the process.