Aug 14, 2017 by Marlin Duncan
August is National Immunization Awareness Month in Wilkes-Barre, PA. That makes it the ideal time for seniors to go through their medical records, talk to their doctors, and make sure they are current on all their vaccinations. Getting vaccinations now will make it much more likely that seniors will be able to stay healthy throughout the upcoming cold and flu season when there is a real danger that seniors could become deathly ill. Consider the following in home caregiver advice on important vaccinations that seniors should have:
Chickenpox & Shingles
Shingles is a very painful rash that can take months to heal. It’s related to chicken pox so a senior who has never had chicken pox or isn’t current on their chicken pox vaccination is at risk. If an older adult has never been vaccinated for chicken pox, now is the perfect time for them to get that vaccination.
There is a preventative vaccine that can actually protect seniors from chickenpox and shingles, a painful rash that often arises in individuals who are age 50 or older. It’s important to note that even though chickenpox and shingles arise from the same bacteria, two separate vaccines are necessary to protect against both diseases. Even if your loved one has been vaccinated before, if it’s been five years or more since they were vaccinated they need to be vaccinated again.
Diphtheria & Tetanus
In order to protect themselves from Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis, senior citizens should get the TDAP vaccine. Doctors recommend that older adults get this vaccination every 10 years to ensure that they do not develop any of these diseases. The TDAP vaccine can also protect them against Pertussis or the whooping cough which can be hazardous to a senior’s young grandchildren.
Unfortunately, the flu is very common among the older population. And it can be deadly. It is one of the most common causes of deaths among seniors. It can bring senior citizens a great deal of discomfort, a slow recovery period, and in some serious cases, death. This holds true because aging leads to a weaker immune system that makes it difficult to fight of illnesses like the flu. The good news is that a yearly flu shot can help older adults avoid this disease, and a dedicated in home caregiver can help ensure that your senior loved one gets reminded about obtaining vaccinations and gets the support or transportation they require.
Pneumonia is an infection that causes the air sacs in the lungs to fill up with fluid or pus and make it difficult for an individual to breathe in enough oxygen to reach their bloodstream. Sadly, pneumonia is the cause of many senior deaths.
If a senior citizen had a pneumonia shot as a child, they are likely still eligible for another one. It should be noted that while the pneumonia vaccine may protect seniors from pneumonia, preventing this condition by quitting smoking and practicing healthy lifestyle habits is essential.
Each senior has a unique medical history. Based on their current health conditions and their risk factors for getting other diseases that could be very seriously their doctor can advise them what vaccines they need to get. A doctor may recommend a vaccine for Mumps, Measles, Meningitis, and Hepatitis A and B if a senior hasn’t been vaccinated for those conditions already.
Getting vaccines is an easy and effective way for senior citizens to prevent developing and spreading a wide variety of diseases. They are also almost always covered by insurance, making them an affordable way for older adults to live a higher quality of life. Medicare also covers most preventative vaccines so seniors have little or no out of pocket costs.
Having an in home caregiver makes it easier for seniors to manage their medical records, do tasks around the home, as well as get out to medical appointments and to run errands in Wilkes-Barre, PA. If your senior loved one could benefit from some extra help at home, contact us or call (570) 486-6492 and schedule a free in-home consultation.