Community Blog

Keep Immunizations for Seniors on Schedule

By Debbie Humphrey

With all the talk about Zika lately, and the vaccine scientists are scrambling to develop to thwart this nasty virus, let’s revisit the issue of immunizations for seniors and the importance of maintaining regular vaccination schedules.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are specific vaccines available to the public to aid in preventing undesirable conditions and diseases, the most common of which include: Influenza (Flu), Shingles (Herpes Zoster), Tetanus, and Pneumococcal disease (Pneumonia). For seniors, it is most important due to a gradual suppression of immune system function as the years go by.

Home Helpers ClearwaterIf you are age 60 or older, it is recommended that you consult with your physician about vaccines you should have based upon your health, occupation, and geographic location. Most healthcare professionals suggest the public, and especially seniors, get a flu shot every year, because as strains change and become more resistant, so, too, do the vaccines available to prevent this serious illness.

You’ve probably seen the television commercial with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw telling seniors about the horrors of shingles and the importance of getting vaccinated if you’ve ever had chicken pox. The CDC recommends adults get a shingles vaccination, even if they have already suffered from the painful virus.

One client of Home Helpers regularly asks her caregiver, “Is it time for my pneumonia shot?” While accompanied to a doctor’s appointment, the caregiver prompts the patient to ask that of her physician. At her age and health condition, it is recommended she have one dose of what’s known as PCV13, and at least, one dose of PPSV23. Now she has peace of mind.

Tetanus shots are often forgotten until an accident or injury occurs which can cause a serious infection. This vital booster should be maintained every ten years, regardless of accident or injury.

August is Immunization Awareness Month. There’s no better time, as summer concludes, to remind seniors and their families about the importance of immunization, no matter what their age. The compassionate caregivers at Home Helpers are available to assist seniors with transportation to doctor’s appointments or to locations that offer the vaccinations required, and provide guidance and clarity to keep immunization schedules accurate and on track. Call today:  727.942.2539