Vaccinations for Seniors
Keeping the proper level of vaccination is one simple way to keep some very dangerous diseases (along with their often serious complications) at bay. Even if you had all of your standard vaccines years ago, it may be time to get boosters to ramp up your immunity. If you or a loved one is over the age of 65, talk with your doctor about the following vaccines specifically. If you have other potential risk factors like upcoming travel, contact with other sick individuals or young children, ask your doctor if any other vaccines might be a good idea too:
1. Influenza Vaccine
The flu virus changes every year, at the very least. So the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all seniors 65 and older, as well as those with other potential risk factors, receive the flu shot annually, before flu season starts (late summer, early autumn). The flu itself can cause a great deal of discomfort, but it complications are often the biggest danger, particularly for seniors. In fact, statistics show that 60% of flu-related hospitalizations each year are among those who are over the age of 65.
2. Shingles or “Zoster” Vaccine
If you had the chicken pox as a younger person, there is always the danger of the dormant virus that lingers in your system being reactivated in the form of shingles, particularly if you are over the age of 60. The singles or “zoster” vaccine can help prevent the onset of this very painful disease from emerging.
3. Pneumococcal Disease Vaccine
Seniors 65 and older should receive a booster of this vaccine, even if they received one earlier in life. If you suffer from cardiovascular or chronic lung disease, it is advisable to get the vaccine earlier as the streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium this vaccine fights can cause everything from blood infections and pneumonia to bacterial meningitis and middle ear infections.
4. Pertussis or “Whooping Cough” Vaccine
92% of the people who die from pertussis are babies who contracted this disease from an older family member who is carrying the disease, and whose symptoms may not be very severe. So if you have frequent contact with babies or small children, get this vaccine booster to keep them safe as well as yourself.
5. Diphtheria and Tetanus Vaccine Booster
It is a good idea for adults to get this booster vaccine every 10 years. Some doctors give this vaccine along with the Pertussis vaccine. It is particularly important to have this booster if you plan on doing any international travel.
Again, if you do plan on traveling, or if you suffer from any health condition that causes you to have a compromised immune system, talk with your doctor about what vaccines or vaccine boosters may be beneficial to you. You can also talk to our skilled nursing care staff here with At Home Personal Care about your loved one’s needs any time—just call us at (703) 330-2323 today.
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