Immunizations for seniors are especially necessary. As we approach senior years, our immune systems weaken and it can be more difficult to fight off infections and bacteria.
Those with health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes should especially be proactive in getting vaccines. According to the CDC, the following immunizations are recommended for those 65 and older:
Flu – (Influenza)
The flu can be a severe health problem for the elderly. Since flu vaccines are designed to combat the latest and most common strain of the virus, the CDC recommends that seniors get their flu vaccine annually. A higher dose flu vaccine is available specifically for seniors and may give them better protection against the flu. Consult with your elderly loved one’s doctor if a higher dose flu vaccine is right for them.
Tdap/Td – (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)
Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, can cause stiff muscles, spasms and breathing difficulties. A tetanus shot booster is recommended every 10 years. If you are unsure when your elderly loved one had their last Tdap shot, check with their doctor.
Shingles are painful rashes and inflammation of the skin caused by the same virus as the chickenpox. The infection is more prevalent in those who are 60 years or older. A vaccine can help prevent or minimize an outbreak. Shingles are contagious, so anyone who has been infected should not be in contact with individuals who have never had the chickenpox or a chickenpox vaccination.
Pneumonia – (pneumococcal)
Seniors are more likely to contract pneumonia due to a weakened immune defense. The disease is spread from person to person by close contact with someone coughing or sneezing. Pneumonia can also cause other types of infections such as:
- Ear infections
- Sinus infections
If you are a caregiver of an elderly loved one, consult their doctor to make a determination on which immunizations are best for them. The Arbors Assisted Living is a community that supports and promotes positive health and wellness habits. To learn more about how we can help your elderly loved one lead a wholesome lifestyle, contact us today.