The weather is beginning to cool down, and the cool air makes many of us vulnerable to catching the flu or even worse, pneumonia. While most people are able to easily overcome flu symptoms through a day of rest, small children and the elderly are hit even harder and are more susceptible to falling ill to these illnesses.
In order to avoid catching the flu or a bad cold, most people rush out about this time of the year to grab a flu shot as a preventative measure. However, for seniors in assisted living, getting a vaccination is a bit different from the average person under the age of 65. Here are some of our tips for how to approach flu season within the age of senior assisted living.
Go Out and Get Your Flu Shot
For seniors aged 65 and older in assisted living, getting the flu shot is not as simple as walking into the nearest pharmacy and requesting it. It is recommended by the CDC that seniors either get one of two types of shots: “The High Dose Vaccine” or “The Adjuvanted Flu Vaccine.”
The high dose vaccine is specifically designed for the senior assisted living age demographic and has 4 times the amount of antigen as a regular flu shot. This grants the shot a stronger immune response following the initial vaccination.
The adjuvant vaccine, Fluad is made with MF59 adjuvant and also promotes a stronger immune system among hosts. According to the CDC, this shot was 63 percent more effective than the regular flu shot in Canada during the 2011-2012 years. This shot will be available in the U.S. for the 2016-2017 flu season.
Keep Your Health Habits Up in Assisted Living
Even in senior assisted living communities, all of the standard health habits during flu and cold season apply. It is recommended that healthy community members avoid being around sick people. If avoiding people with the flu is not an option, make sure that hand washing becomes an enforced routine in your loved one’s daily habits. Although these health habits should be practiced year-round, they are especially helpful to seniors while flu season is at its highest risk factor. We suggest that everyone is reminded of the flu-like symptoms:
- Sore Throat
- Runny/Stuffy Nose
- Body aches
There is Also a Pneumonia Vaccine
The CDC recommends that people 65 years of age and older should be up to date with the pneumococcal vaccination. This shot protects against diseases like pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections.
Before making the decision to get this type of vaccination, it is recommended that patients speak with their physicians to find out which form of the vaccine is best suited for their needs.
Cornerstone Senior Living Keeps Your Loved One Healthy
At Cornerstone Senior Living, we are committed to treating your loved one like family. Across our eight diverse communities, we promote a healthy lifestyle for those that can no longer care for themselves on their own. Contact us today to find out about our different care levels and how we can be of service to your loved one.