While COVID-19 continues to dominate our overall health concerns, it’s essential to remember that other illnesses can be equally as dangerous, particularly for older adults. Flu season is upon us, and it is time to make sure the older adults you love are protected.
There are a number of different flu vaccines available, some that are more appropriate for older adults. These include:
- High-dose vaccines
- Adjuvanted vaccines
- Intradermal vaccines
- Nasal spray vaccines
Generally, adults age 65 and over are encouraged to receive either a high-dose or adjuvanted shot, but speak with the doctor for his or her advice.
If a senior is reluctant to receive a flu shot, the following are some fundamental reasons to educate them on why it is so important:
- The immune system weakens as we grow older, which makes it more challenging to recover from infections.
- Serious complications due to the flu are more likely in seniors.
- 85% of flu-related deaths and up to 70% of flu-related hospitalizations occur in those over the age of 65.
- Secondary infections, for example, ear and sinus infections, bronchitis, and even pneumonia can develop from contracting the flu.
Along with receiving the seasonal flu vaccine, seniors can boost their immunity through:
- Maintaining a healthy diet that includes foods rich in vitamin C, D, and zinc, along with complex carbs and lean proteins.
- Staying physically active with regular exercise every day. Half an hour per day is perfect, and can be broken down into smaller segments during the day.
- Keeping the environment sanitized and clean. A HEPA filter can also help with improving indoor air quality.
- Improving sleeping habits, aiming for eight hours of sleep each night. Setting a routine at bedtime that includes calming activities, limiting technology and TV, and keeping the room dark and cool are all techniques to help.
Remember that following COVID-19 safety guidelines can help with preventing other illnesses as well. Wash hands frequently, practice physical distancing, wear a face covering, and avoid large crowds.
Seniorcorp’s caregivers are here to help! Let us provide transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and to receive a flu shot, in combination with our full range of in-home care services. We can also prepare wholesome meals, encourage older adults to engage in regular exercise, and much more. Take the first step towards improving health and wellbeing for a senior by contacting us online or at (757) 640-0557 to request a complimentary in-home consultation.