Jan 10, 2019 by David Yeomans
There are many ways to avoid getting the flu, like frequent hand washing with soap. Yet, the best way for seniors to reduce the risk of influenza, according to Mayo Clinic, is to receive an annual flu shot, especially for seniors over the age of 65. After all, while anybody can get the flu, seniors have an elevated risk due to the reduced efficiency of their immune system. Vaccinations help boost the effectiveness of the immune system. Sadly, less than two-thirds of American seniors get their flu shot.
It is not just the flu that seniors should think about when it comes to immunizations, either. Shingles is a common and very painful ailment similar to chicken pox that afflicts millions of seniors each year. In addition to being excruciatingly painful, shingles can last for years and often leads to postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which boasts severe, debilitating pain, permanent nerve damage, blindness, scarring, and an increased risk of stroke and pneumonia, which along with the flu ranks as the 8th leading cause of death in American seniors. Shingles can be prevented with a simple vaccination, yet only 16 percent of seniors take advantage of it. Only slightly more (46 percent) receive a pneumonia vaccination.
Beyond what may be considered mostly "senior immunizations", seniors should also make sure their other vaccinations are up-to-date. This includes vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough as well as two different vaccines to prevent pneumococcal disease for seniors over 65. Many seniors mistakenly believe they are still covered by their childhood immunizations, when, in fact, most vaccines are only effective for about 10 years.
If you are not sure about how current your immunizations are or have trouble keeping everything lined up, Comfort Keepers’ home care assistance providers can help you track your immunizations as part of a medication management plan. Home care assistance may also include transportation to and from appointments as well as compassionate physical and emotional assistance. Either way, Comfort Keepers highly recommends that you get your annual flu shot as well as keep your other vaccinations and boosters up-to-date, and they will do whatever they can to provide necessary assistance.
Our immune systems may not be as strong as they once were but that does not mean we can't take steps to bolster its effectiveness. For more information about senior immunizations or to learn more about the many ways Comfort Keepers’ home care assistance can maximize your safety, independence, and quality of life contact a senior home care coordinator today.
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