Many people only think of babies and young children when talking about immunizations. However, if you are taking care of an elderly loved one, you should know that there are many serious illnesses that can be prevented through immunizations. For instance, for many people, the flu would just make them sick for a while. However, many senior citizens who get the flu will become seriously ill or even have a fatal reaction to the illness. This is because as people get older their immune system isn’t as strong. The CDC recommends that elderly adults get certain immunizations.
The Flu Shot
The flu can be a dangerous health issue for senior citizens. In fact, over 90% of the deaths related to the flu are in adults who are 65 and older. In addition, over half the flu-related admissions to the hospital are with elderly adults, as well. If you or home care providers are taking care of your elderly loved one, you or the providers should make sure that your loved one gets the flu shot every year. If your elderly loved one does get the flu after they have already gotten the flu shot, at least the symptoms won’t be as bad. It is best for elderly adults to get the flu shot in October of every year.
The Pneumonia Vaccine
Another vaccine that elderly adults should get is the one for preventing pneumonia. Many elderly adults fall ill with pneumonia every year and some die from it. In fact, around 50,000 people die from pneumonia every year. Pneumonia is also the most common reason for hospitalization in elderly adults. The new recommendations state that elderly adults should get 2 pneumonia vaccines, 1 year apart from one another, to protect their body from sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis.
The Shingles Vaccine
Senior citizens should get the shingles vaccine, as well. Shingles can be a very painful condition. If your elderly loved one contracts shingles, they could be in severe pain for months or even longer. According to the CDC, elderly adults should get the shingles vaccine at the age of 50. There are different shingles vaccines that your elderly loved one could get. They should talk to their doctor to see which one would be best for them.
If your elderly loved one did not get the DTP vaccine as a child, they should get the Tdap booster vaccine as an adult. This shot is received one time and it protects them from pertussis. This is also called whooping cough.
These are some of the immunizations that might be recommended for your elderly loved one. If your loved one hasn’t gotten these vaccines yet, have them check with their doctor to see which ones they should get this year.
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