Pittsburgh / Allison Park Senior Care Blog

Dealing with Discomfort During and After Immunizations

By Erin Carll

Elder Care in Sewickly PA

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. During this month, empower your parent to take more responsibility for their health and take the proper steps to guard their well-being into the future by learning more about the immunizations that they need and helping them to manage them. 

Though the actual needs of each elderly adult varies depending on their age, health, allergies, and other risk factors, some of the shots recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for adults aged 64 years and older include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Flu
  • Whooping Cough
  • Tetanus

If your parent is going to undergo immunizations, it is important to remember that these are uncomfortable. Even though most people think of children when it comes to pain and other negative reactions to immunizations, even adults can experience pain, discomfort, swelling, and other issues. Preparing for this will help your parent to manage the experience more comfortably.

Use these tips to help your loved one deal with discomfort during and after immunizations:

  • Encourage them to relax. Tension in the muscles will make it more difficult for the needle to get in and to release the medication. This means that the shot will be longer and more uncomfortable. Encourage your parent to relax as much as possible and stay relaxed throughout the procedure. Try distracting them and discouraging them from looking at the syringe.
  • Ask about pain relief. Before the immunization ask the doctor about what types of products your parent can use to relieve any pain or soreness that they experience after the shot. Generally this effect will be a sore or tender arm that will go away within a few days. An over the counter pain reliever can help to ease this discomfort.
  • Watch for reactions. Though serious reactions to immunizations are very rare, they can happen. It is important that your parent is aware of the potential side effects that could happen so that you can monitor any reactions that they might have in the hours and days following the immunization. Some of these can be serious, such as hives and difficulty breathing, while others may be mild such as headache or fatigue. Be aware of any reactions that may occur weeks after administration so that you will know what to expect and can respond effectively.

If you want to help your parent stay healthy throughout their aging years while also maintaining as much independence as possible, now may be the ideal time for you to consider elder care. Having an elderly home care services provider in the home with them will enable your loved one to manage their specific needs, challenges, and limitations in personalized ways that are right for their individual personality and personal goals. After they receive immunizations, this elder care provider can also be beneficial in helping your parent to cope with the discomfort of their shots and can watch them for potential signs of negative reactions that may require further medical attention.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home elderly care in Sewickly, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.