COVID-19 continues to dominate our overall health concerns, it is important to bear in mind that other illnesses can be equally as dangerous, especially for seniors. Flu season is upon us, and it’s time to ensure that the older adults we love are protected. The flu vaccine for seniors is the best protection against the flu.
There are a number of different flu vaccines available, some that are better suited for older adults. These include:
- High-dose vaccines
- Adjuvanted vaccines
- Intradermal vaccines
- Nasal spray vaccines
Generally, adults over the age of 65 are encouraged to receive either a high-dose or adjuvanted shot, but it’s important to discuss with a physician for a recommendation that is best-suited for each individual.
If a senior is reluctant to receive a flu shot, here are a few talking points to help educate them on why it’s so important:
- The immune system weakens as the body ages, making it more difficult to recover from infections.
- Serious complications from the flu tend to be more likely in the elderly.
- 85% of flu-related deaths and up to 70% of flu-related hospitalizations occur in those over the age of 65.
- Secondary infections, such as ear and sinus infections, bronchitis, and even pneumonia can develop from contracting influenza.
Along with receiving a flu shot, older adults can boost their immunity through:
- Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet that contains foods high in vitamin C, D, and zinc, along with lean proteins and complex carbs.
- Staying physically active with regular exercise each day. Half an hour per day can make a significant impact, and can be broken down into smaller portions during the day.
- Keeping the environment sanitized and clean. A HEPA filter can also help with improving indoor air quality.
- Improving sleep habits, striving for 8 hours of sleep nightly. Setting a routine at bedtime to include calming activities, limiting technology and TV, and keeping the bedroom cool and dark are all strategies to help preserve healthy sleep habits.
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 steer clear of large crowds to minimize the risk of most illnesses.
The professional caregivers at CareWorks Health Services are here to help, providing home care in Laguna Woods and surrounding areas with personalized care plans to meet individual needs and help preserve healthy living. Let us provide transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments or to receive a flu shot, in combination with our full range of in-home care services. We are available to also prepare nutritious meals, encourage older adults to take part in regular exercise, and much more. Take the first step towards improving health and wellbeing by calling us at (949) 859-4700 to request a free in-home consultation.