Flu season is upon us. While we were already aware that seniors are at greater risk of suffering serious complications from the illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention breaks it down even further: in recent years, 71-85% of flu-related deaths are estimated to have been people over 65. When it comes to flu-related hospitalizations, the estimate falls between 54-70%. The numbers don’t lie: the flu is still quite a serious deal, especially pertaining to the elderly.
There are many ways to avoid catching the influenza virus, the simplest of which is proper hygiene practice. Your favorite senior should wash his or her hands often. Also, avoiding other people who are sick is a great idea.
Another standout option: getting a flu shot.
Two flu vaccines were designed specifically with seniors in mind. The High Dose Vaccine is a super-shot: it contains quadruple the amount of antigen found in normal shots. The CDC reports that in a clinical trial of over 30,000 participants, those seniors who received the High Dose Vaccine had 24% fewer flu infections than those who took the standard dose.
The second vaccine for seniors is available for the first time this year. Called the Adjuvanted Vaccine, it was designed to facilitate a stronger immune response to the flu vaccination itself, and as a result, fewer complications. Five years ago, a study of 282 people over 65 in Canada concluded that the Adjuvanted Vaccine was 63% more effective in keeping the flu away than a regular dose.
Doctors also recommend that seniors keep up with their pneumococcal vaccinations, which build up a defense against pneumonia, meningitis and bloodstream infections. Ask your loved one’s physician about these treatments to be sure you’re aware of every option available. Only then can you make the best decisions possible to keep your favorite senior at their healthiest throughout this flu season.
There is so much to think about when entering the later stages of life. If you are considering elder care options, we at 805Aging can help. Our professional staff specializes in assisting you to choose the right kind of care for your loved one.
We conduct regular check-ins when you are unable to do so. 805Aging also provides oversight and detailed feedback to the family to keep your loved one safe and well-cared for day or night, weekday or weekend, holiday and every day.
We have the resources. We can hold your hand. We can guide you. Your peace of mind is our main goal, and is well assured. To find out more, call us at 805-750-4755 or visit our website and sign up for our monthly newsletter: www.805Aging.com.
There is no manual on how to take care of your parents as they age. They had a baby book when you were young. You have us. -Amy