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The Importance of Getting Vaccinated in Senior Years

Aug 10, 2017 by Gregg Gammello

An in home caregiver makes scheduling & getting to appointments safe and convenient

Vaccines are one of the biggest medical achievements in history, as they can keep us safe from many serious infectious diseases that used to claim the lives of thousands upon thousands of people. Getting vaccinated in accordance with medical guidelines is super important, especially in senior years when the human immune system starts to weaken.

As part of promoting August as National Immunization Awareness Month in the US, both your loved one’s in home caregiver and doctor may start the conversation about the importance of vaccination. Here are some vaccines your parent may consider getting after consulting with their medical team.

Chickenpox & Shingles

Many seniors already received the vaccine against chickenpox when they were children, but if your loved one is not certain whether they got the shot or had chickenpox, now is the time to get vaccinated. Although chickenpox and shingles originate from the exact same bacteria, however, two separate vaccines are needed to prevent the development of both diseases.

Influenza

This infectious disease, commonly known as the flu, presents a major health risk for the senior population. Unfortunately, senior immune systems can no longer fight viruses as successfully as when they were younger, meaning that the flu can result in other health problems. The complications that can stem from a simple viral infection can be very harmful to older adults, resulting in very slow recovery and even death.

However, with the yearly flu vaccine, your loved one can adequately protect themselves from the disease. Keep in mind that you and other family members, as well as your parent’s in home caregiver, should also receive this vaccine to further minimize the risk of your loved one getting the flu. 

Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis

The TDAP shot can protect your parent from these three infectious diseases. Protection from whooping cough (Pertussis) is especially important as the infectious condition can easily spread from seniors to their grandchildren. For this reason, your loved one should get the TDAP vaccine once every ten years.

Pneumococcal

As any in home caregiver can tell you, pneumonia is one of the most serious conditions for a senior to develop. It is also one of the leading causes of death among seniors. This is why your loved one may want to receive the vaccine against pneumonia, even if they already had one as a child. They can talk to their medical team about whether they are eligible for revaccination.

Another important thing to note is that your loved one should adopt healthy lifestyle changes in order to lower the risks of this condition. A professional in home caregiver can provide your parent with advice about practicing healthy habits, developing a simple exercise routine for them and preparing healthy meals.

Other Vaccines

There are also vaccines for Mumps, Meningitis, Measles, and Hepatitis A and B. Whether your loved one will receive one depends on their medical background. Still, make sure to schedule an appointment with a physician to determine if your loved one needs to receive one of these shots.

Resources

Want to learn more about the importance of senior vaccinations? Check out these resources:

https://www.ncoa.org/blog/4-important-vaccines-seniors-covered-medicare/
http://www.insideeldercare.com/health/immunizations-for-senior-citizens/

 

Comfort Keepers of Lansdale, PA provides senior care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Ambler, Colmar, Earlington, Franconia, Gwynedd, Gwynedd Valley, Hatfield, Hilltown, Kulpsville, Lansdale, Line Lexington, Montgomeryville, No Wales, Rushland, Sellersville, Souderton, Spring House, Telford, Tylersport, West Point and Worcester.

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