Do Elderly People Still Need Vaccines?
Vaccines are the topic of discussion for many during August’s National Immunization Awareness Month. People of all ages can benefit from the immunization process received when they get vaccines, but seniors are the ones that are most likely to contract preventable diseases. Unvaccinated seniors are a true health hazard which can spread diseases, cause thousands to become ill and even result in death for the most vulnerable in the population.
Why Do Seniors Need Immunizations?
Older adults need to keep their vaccinations current, and there’s no better time than National Immunization Awareness Month. Those over 65 years old are more likely to have a reduced immune system and a diminished ability to resist infection. Some seniors may not have gotten some of the latest vaccinations that are superior to those of past decades. There are some vaccinations that must be done annually, while others have only been around for a few years. It’s possible that elderly people missed vaccinations as children, or that the protection of past immunizations has faded.
All in all, it’s definitely important for elderly people to check with their doctor to see whether or not they might benefit from getting some vaccines. It’s up to family caregivers to make arrangements with family members, elder care agencies or themselves to transport the senior to the doctor for the vaccinations.
Common Vaccines for Elderly People
The most common vaccines used on elderly people are the pneumococcal vaccine, zoster vaccine, influenza vaccine and tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccine.
Here are more details about each one…
-Pneumococcal vaccine helps prevent pneumonia, which can be fatal to seniors. Since pneumonia is the inflammation of the air sacs of the lungs, the vaccine is especially important to help elderly people that have respiratory issues.
-Zoster vaccine is used to prevent or significantly reduce a shingles outbreak. Shingles is a deep rash that blisters across the body and it is caused by the same virus that triggers chicken pox. It is very contagious and quite painful. Seniors that get shingles open themselves up to weeks of severe discomfort and a high likelihood of infection.
-Influenza vaccine must be administered annually to combat one of the most common viral infections. Influenza is very contagious and affects the lungs, nose, and throat. The most vulnerable populations, seniors, and children can be severely affected. A flu vaccine can minimize or prevent them from contracting the illness.
-Tdap vaccine guards against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, which is whooping cough. Most people received the vaccine in their teen years but may not have gotten boosters throughout their adult lives. The vaccine protects seniors against these three potentially life-threatening illnesses.
Family caregivers need to remember that their elderly loved ones can be protected from some of the most common illnesses simply by staying current on their vaccinations. Not only will they keep themselves safer, but immunized seniors will not be contagious to other family members, senior care assistants, friends and the community.
Are you or a loved one considering hiring elder care in Salt Lake City, UT? Please talk to the friendly staff at December Rose Senior Care at Home.
Providing Home Care in Highland, Utah and Surrounding Communities. 801-427-ROSE (7673)
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