Senior Home Care Blog - Western Cook & Eastern DuPage Counties

It's Flu-Shot Season

By Mary Doepke, RN

Fall Is Flu-Shot Season

Cooler nights and shorter days mean flu season is not far away, and getting a flu shot is the very best way to stay healthy this winter.

Getting a flu shot isn’t just about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting those around you, including older adults for whom the flu can be serious and even deadly. Statistics show that during recent flu seasons, between 80% and 90% of flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. 

That’s why Home Helpers caregivers are encouraged to take advantage of the company’s flu shot program each September. It’s an important way to protect both the caregivers and their clients.

The flu vaccine isn’t one-size-fits-all. The Centers for Disease Control list several different types of shots, all of which are intended to protect people from what are predicted to be the most prevalent viruses this season.

Children 6 months and older, as well as adults 18 to 64 should receive the three-strain or four-strain immunization. As the name suggests, the three-strain version protects against three types of flu virus, while the four-strain protects against four.  Older adults are encouraged to receive a high-dose shot to better equip them to fight the illness. New this flu season is the high-dose shot with adjuvant, an ingredient that helps to create a stronger immune response.

Those who prefer the nasal spray to an injection will have to be brave this year. The CDC determined that the spray is not effective against this year’s strains of flu.

It might hurt a little less to know that vaccines are covered by Medicare and most insurance policies, and several pharmacies are offering incentives for getting the flu shot that go beyond one’s own health.

  • For every person who gets a flu shot at Walgreen’s, the company donates an immunization to a child in need.
  • Mariano’s pharmacies donate a meal to Feeding America for each flu shot.
  • CVS stores offer a 20 % savings pass to customers who receive their shot.

The flu shot is your very best defense, but fighting the flu doesn’t stop there. To stay healthy all winter long, be sure to:

  • Get enough sleep every night.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • Wash your hand frequently and avoid touching your face.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and use it frequently.
  • If you have a cough, cover it.
  • If you sneeze, use tissues or the crook of your arm.
  • Use disinfectant wipes to clean surfaces such as phones, door knobs, remotes and other frequently touched surfaces.