If you’re a parent to young children, the only immunizations that may be on your mind are those your child needs.
That’s not unusual. Many of us think of children when we think of immunizations. However, your aging parent may be due for some vaccinations, too. August is National Immunization Awareness month. If you’re not sure which immunizations elderly people need, learning more about them will help you to know which ones to talk to your parent’s doctor about.
Why Are Vaccines Important for Older Adults?
One of the reasons that older adults should keep up with their scheduled vaccinations is that their immune systems are often weaker than the immune systems of younger people. Having a weakened immune system puts them at greater risk for getting illnesses like the flu or pneumonia. Vaccinations provide the body with the assistance they need to fight off such conditions.
Older adults may also need vaccinations because the protection of some of the vaccinations they had as children can wear off. In addition, seniors are more likely to have conditions that could cause serious complications if they become ill. Chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes can make it even harder for the body to recover from sickness.
Which Vaccinations Do Seniors Need?
According to the National Council on Aging, there are four vaccinations that all older adults should get. They are:
Flu Shot: Seniors should have an annual flu shot. Flu can have serious complications in older adults, especially those with existing medical conditions. In fact, flu can sometimes even lead to death.
Shingles Vaccine: Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has ever had chickenpox can get shingles. The virus causes a painful, itchy rash. One of the complications of shingles is long-term pain.
Pneumococcal Vaccine: Pneumococcal causes infections in the organs and bloodstream. It causes pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia. It is responsible for the death of more than 18,000 older adults per year.
Hepatitis B: The hepatitis B virus affects the liver and can lead to liver damage or death.
If your parent is due for a vaccination, there’s no need for you to schedule time off work to take them for a shot. A home care provider can assist with making an appointment for your parent. Home care can also drive them to the facility to receive their vaccination. Since some vaccinations may have side effects, a home care provider can stay with your parent for a while afterward to make sure they are alright.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Calera, AL, please contact the caring staff at Senior Legacy Care today. Call us at (205) 380-7418.
Susan Smith, Owner
Susan Smith is the owner of Senior Legacy, an independent non-medical senior in home care business.... Read More...