When you think about immunizations, you probably either think of children or puppies. But, did you know that you should also be thinking about your senior parent? Over time, some of the protection gained from childhood immunizations may wear off, making your parent susceptible to certain viruses. In addition, your parent may be more at risk for some diseases due to their age, health conditions, or travel.
Below are some of the vaccinations recommended for older adults…
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults, especially seniors, receive the influenza, or flu, vaccine every year. The flu vaccine is particularly important if your senior parent has health conditions that make getting the flu more dangerous. Sometimes people do not get the flu vaccine because they don’t think the flu is serious. However, 36,000 people in the United States die from flu related complications each year. It’s important to get the shot annually because each year’s vaccine is specially made to combat that season’s viruses. The flu vaccine is normally available from September through March, which is the flu season.
Td and Tdap Vaccine
The Td vaccine protects against tetanus and diphtheria while the Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. If your parent has never received the Tdap vaccine, they should be vaccinated. After that, your parent should receive a Td booster once every ten years.
Shingles is a condition that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. One out of every three adults gets shingles. The vaccine is a one-time immunization that is recommended for adults over the age of 60. Doctors recommend waiting until age 60 or older because the vaccine wears off in about five years. Even if your parent has had shingles in the past, they should still get the shingles vaccine.
If your parent was born after 1956 or if they are unsure of whether they have been vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella should receive the MMR vaccine. This vaccine is needed only once.
This vaccine protects against pneumococcal disease, which infects the bloodstream or organs. Some of the diseases the pneumococcal vaccine prevents are pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia. The vaccine is important because pneumococcal diseases kill approximately 18,000 seniors every year.
There may be other immunizations your parent should receive depending on their health conditions and lifestyle. Talk to your parent’s doctor about which vaccines they need and when they should be given. A senior care provider can assist by taking your parent to the doctor’s office to be vaccinated. In addition, a senior care provider can sit with your parent after they are vaccinated to watch for signs of allergic reactions, which occasionally occur.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Newport Beach, CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today!