Think of all the people your elderly relative comes in contact with each week—yourself, family members, friends, elder care aides, people at the senior citizen’s center, church and at stores and doctor’s offices. The chances are good that elderly people can pick up bacteria and viruses that will make them sick. Because their immune systems are weaker with age, they are more likely to suffer seriously from the illnesses.
The good news is that there are several vaccines that seniors can get to protect them from a number of diseases and illnesses. August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so it’s an excellent time to look into immunizations for your elderly relative.
Vaccines Are Not Just For Children
Way too many people think that immunization efforts are just for babies and children. However, adults need to keep up on their vaccinations throughout their adult life. Thousands of elderly people are sick each year from illnesses that are entirely preventable if they had a vaccine. Not only are elderly people going to have a worse reaction to certain illnesses, but there is a higher than average risks that they might die from them. To keep elderly loved ones safe and well, family caregivers need to look into vaccinations.
What Vaccines Do Seniors Need Most?
Elderly people will definitely benefit from a number of vaccines given under the direction of their doctor. Among the most common vaccines given to boost an elderly person’s immunity are the seasonal influenza vaccine, pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine, zoster vaccine (shingles) and the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis). Many seniors may have already had some of these common vaccines, but it’s possible that the immunity properties wear down. Some are so new that the elderly person may never have received it, and one must be taken annually.
Doctors can suggest any other vaccines they feel may be necessary based on the elderly person’s medical history.
Where Can Seniors Get Vaccinated?
Most urban and suburban clinics will have the necessary vaccinations in their offices. Rural offices may have to make arrangements for the vaccines to arrive from another location. For the seasonal flu shots, many department and drug stores offer free or reduced options for the community.
Community or county health clinics, community centers, senior centers and similar public health institutions may also offer free or reduced rates for vaccinations that seniors need. Family caregivers will need to make arrangements for themselves, elder care assistants or other family members to provide transportation so that the elderly person can get to the location for vaccinations.
What is National Immunization Awareness Month?
Observed annually every August, National Immunization Awareness Month is designed to shine the spotlight on the importance of vaccinations in keeping communities healthy and eradicating preventable illnesses. It’s a time to send out reminders to everyone of all ages to make sure their vaccinations are up to date and what resources are available to communities concerning immunizations.
If you have any questions about where to go or what vaccinations your elderly relative might be lacking, start with their doctor or the local health clinic to get the answers you need.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring elderly care in Old Town Alexandria, VA, contact the caring staff at Access Home Care Inc. Proudly Serving Northern Virginia and Surroundings for over 12 years. Call Us: (703) 765-9350