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Senior Immunizations – What Does Your Senior Loved One Need?

Aug 10, 2017 by Erin Couchell

Comprehensive elderly care must include protection from preventable diseases

When we think of vaccines, most conjure up images of babies and young children getting their shots. Hardly anybody thinks of seniors. However, seniors do need to get vaccinated as well and immunizations are a major part of proper elderly care.

Being properly vaccinated and being up to date on their shots can significantly improve a senior's quality of life. It can prevent serious diseases, allowing seniors to lead much healthier, happier lives.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so let's take a look at the immunizations all seniors should be up to date on.

Diphtheria & Tetanus

TDAP vaccine protects against Diphtheria, Tetanus , and Pertussis. It is recommended that people over the age of 65 be vaccinated with the TDAP every decade. The TDAP protects against Pertussis, more commonly known as the whooping cough, which is easily transferred to small children, putting your loved one's grandchildren at risk.

Chickenpox & Shingles

If your loved one has not received immunization against chicken pox, it is not too late and they should do so as soon as possible. Chickenpox and shingles manifest in the form of a painful rash, which happens often in people over the age of 50 who have never had it before. Seniors should be vaccinated with two separate vaccines.

Influenza

While the flu is not a very big deal in younger populations who recover quickly from it, seniors - who are generally not as strong and have a weaker immune system - can be hit hard by it. It is a sad fact that some seniors, in addition to recovering much more slowly, can even die from the flue. This is why proper elderly care should include immunization against influenza. These are administered yearly and are readily available in all parts of the country.

Pneumococcal

Pneumonia is another deadly infection for seniors and all measures should be taken in elderly care to make sure your loved one is protected as much as possible from it. If your loved one received a pneumococcal, or the pneumonia vaccine, when they were younger, they could receive it again now. Check with their general practitioner to find out more about eligibility.

Other Vaccinations

Each senior is an individual with a unique medical history. This means that certain shots are a good idea for some seniors and not recommended for others.

Your loved one's doctor may recommend they receive other vaccines we did not mention above, like those for Mumps, Measles, Meningitis, and Hepatitis A and B.

Vaccines are an affordable and easy way to protect your loved one and should be a critical aspect of elderly care. Check with their general practitioner to see which immunizations they are eligible for as soon as possible to make sure they are protected and staying healthy.

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/

 

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