When we think of vaccinations, most of us think of children and babies. However, there are vaccines that people need as adults and even as older adults. Vaccinations help to prevent serious illness and, in some cases, death. Some vaccines that people have as children lose effectiveness with age. And, some vaccines are needed annually. Knowing which vaccines your aging relative needs can help to keep them healthy and protect them from potentially life-threatening illnesses. Below are some of the vaccines your older family member may need.
The flu vaccine is one that older adults need to get every year. The flu virus changes every year, so the annual vaccine is tailored to protect against that year’s strain. Flu season usually runs from October through March, so it’s best to get the vaccine no later than the end of October. The flu vaccine is important because older adults are particularly susceptible to serious complications from the flu. They be hospitalized and the flu can even lead to death. Getting a flu vaccination reduces the chances of getting the illness by 40 to 60 percent. Although the vaccine doesn’t provide 100 percent protection from the flu, if the older adult does get it, they are likely to have a milder case and the chances of complications are less.
Everyone over the age of 50 should receive a shingles vaccine. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. After a person has had chicken pox, the virus remains in their body and can reactivate to cause shingles. Shingles causes a painful rash, and some people develop long lasting nerve pain.
People over the age of 65 need two pneumonia vaccines about a year apart from each other. These vaccines are important because pneumonia causes nearly 3,000 deaths each year. Older adults are more likely to get seriously ill from pneumonia than are younger people.
The Tdap includes tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. A tetanus booster is needed every 10 years, so getting this vaccine will account for that booster. In addition, it provides protection against pertussis (whooping cough). Preventing pertussis is especially important if the older adult has contact with babies or toddlers who are susceptible to the illness.
Home care can ensure your aging relative is able to get to the doctor to receive their vaccinations. Home care providers can drive them to the appointment and back home again. Home care providers can also stay with the senior afterward to watch for any side effects that may occur.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care in Meyerland, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338.Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.
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