Aug 10, 2017 by Doug Stark
Every August, medical and care experts celebrate National Immunization Awareness Month in the US. By raising awareness of the importance of senior immunization, they can help millions of senior Americans to reduce the risks of serious infectious diseases and lead healthier lives.
To protect your loved one from these diseases, you can talk to an expert caregiver or medical professional about what vaccines your parent should receive and act accordingly.
Here are some basic vaccination guidelines to keep in mind:
Your loved one should get the TDAP shot once every 10 years to stay protected from Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis. The vaccination is especially important because Pertussis, better known as whooping cough, can be especially harmful to children.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs characterized by a strong cough, difficulty with breathing, chest pain, and fever. Unfortunately, seniors fall into the high-risk category for contracting pneumonia, with high mortality rates, so it is very important that they get vaccinated against this illness.
Many older adults already received pneumonia vaccine in their childhood, but they may want to consider getting revaccinated, just to be on the safe side. Though getting the pneumonia shot can protect your loved one from developing the infection, they still might want to consider making healthy lifestyle choices in order to improve their immune system and lung health. A professional caregiver can help your loved one start exercising and maintain an optimal level of physical activity.
The flu is an infectious disease that can cause seniors much discomfort and lead to the development of other medical complications. This is because the human immune system weakens with age. Your parent can minimize the risk of getting the flu by getting a yearly flu shot. However, it is also important that people who frequently get into contact with them also receive the vaccine, including their caregiver, friends, and, of course, family members.
Chicken pox is a viral infection that can reappear later in life as shingles, a very unpleasant and painful rash. In case your loved one never received a shot for chicken pox, it is important for them to get vaccinated as soon as possible. But bear in mind that two separate shots are needed for these diseases, one for chickenpox and one for shingles.
Your loved one might want to consider getting other vaccines as well. Depending on your parent’s medical background, their physician can recommend shots against the Mumps, Measles, and Meningitis, as well as Hepatitis A and B.
Vaccines are one of the most effective ways to prevent the development of various diseases in older adults - and the good news is that they are usually covered by medical insurance.
Want to learn more about the importance of senior vaccinations? Check out these resources:
Comfort Keepers provides senior care services in the following cities in Kansas:
Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.