Community Blog

Important Vaccines for the Elderly

By Vicki and Brian Day

Caregivers in Orefield PA

Older adults are more prone to chronic diseases and illnesses due to their weakened immune system. Some of these illnesses are manageable, while others could be fatal. For this reason, getting certain vaccines is critical to the health of seniors. A healthy diet and exercise can help strengthen the elder’s body and immune system, but it is also important they stay current on their vaccines.

Even if the elder received vaccines as a child, they may need them once again. Caregivers should encourage the elder to talk to their doctor about getting the following vaccines for their health.

Influenza

Adults over the age of 65 are at a greater risk of complications as a result of the flu. According to the CDC, approximately 80 to 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths occur in this age group. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting an influenza vaccine once a year. Since the type of flu virus that is spreading each year changes, these vaccines are also constantly changing to prevent the latest strain.

Shingles

Shingles is a painful rash that is often located on one side of the face or body. The possibility of developing shingles and having to cope with its long-term pain increases with age. Elders are at an even higher risk if they did not have chickenpox as a child. The best way to reduce the risk of getting this disease is through a vaccine. It is a one-time vaccine and can be received by anyone over the age of 60.

Pertussis

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a dangerous infection that can easily spread from one person to the next. This disease causes uncontrollable coughing that makes it difficult to breathe, sleep, or eat. It can be deadly to both babies and elders if not treated early enough. The TDaP shot is a one-time vaccine that people of all ages should receive every 10 years. Getting this vaccine will greatly reduce the risk of developing Pertussis.

Pneumococcal

Pneumonia can be fatal to older adults, especially those with compromised immune systems or who have other health conditions. One dose of the PCV13 vaccine is recommended for all adults over the age of 65 who have not previously had the vaccine. A dose of PPSV23 will also need to be given at least one year after the elder received the PCV13 vaccine.

By receiving these vaccines, your elderly loved one will be at a significantly lower risk for developing a life-threatening illness.

Source:
http://www.vaccines.gov/who_and_when/seniors/
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/65over.htm

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN OREFIELD, PA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS. CALL TODAY! (610) 365-4266.