It may not seem like it now, but flu season will be here before we know it! In recent years, we’ve learned how preventative measures can be a literal life-saver when it comes to viruses like the flu, and that goes especially for seniors. So, why wait? You can implement measures for flu prevention for seniors as early as today!
Why is flu prevention for seniors so important?
While flu prevention measures are important for everyone, seniors in particular benefit from preventative measures as our immune systems naturally get weaker as we age. And while a preventative measure, such as the flu vaccine, can’t guarantee that an aging adult will 100% avoid catching the flu, it does lower the chances of catching the flu and helps to lessen the severity of the symptoms if a senior does experience the flu. And that’s especially helpful considering that an estimated 90% of flu-related deaths are people 65 years of age and older.
Even further, if a senior isn’t convinced that the flu is worth taking preventative measures for, maybe the secondary infections that the flu often causes will be enough to change their mind. Among the secondary infections the flu is associated with are sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, and bronchitis – all very serious ailments.
How can the flu vaccine help?
Outside of the everyday preventative measures seniors can take against the flu, such as washing their hands regularly, sanitizing commonly-touched items around the home, and avoiding close contact with people experiencing flu symptoms, the flu vaccine is a helpful option for flu prevention for seniors.
The flu vaccine has antigens that essentially act as a catalyst to stimulate the production of antibodies in the body to help attack the flu virus should a senior come into contact with it. Simply put, the vaccine helps make the soldiers that fight off the flu virus.
What forms of flu vaccines are there, and which one is best for seniors?
It may surprise you to know that there is more than one type of flu shot, and the flu shot isn’t necessarily one size fits all. In fact, some flu vaccines aren’t even in the form of a shot. The different flu vaccines can include:
- Intradermal flu shot
- High-dose flu shot
- Nasal spray vaccine
- Adjuvanted flu shot
Which vaccine a doctor suggests for an aging adult depends on multiple factors, such as allergies or the age of the adult. For example, although the flu vaccine is safe, allergies to eggs or mercury will affect which vaccine a doctor suggests. Also, the high-dose and adjuvanted vaccines are made specifically for adults 65 years of age and older, and the high-dose flu shot in particular has been proven to be more effective than standard-dose vaccines.
What should I be worried about when it comes to the flu vaccine?
Not much! The flu vaccine is a common and well-researched method of flu prevention for seniors. While some aging adults may experience mild cold symptoms as an aftereffect of the vaccine, these symptoms typically go away after 1-2 days. There also may be redness or tenderness at the site of the shot, but this often subsidesafter 1-2 days as well.
As far as cost, the flu vaccine is relatively affordable, and may even be free. The price is dependent on the senior’s insurance, as well as the chosen vaccine. The vaccine is readily available at local pharmacies, clinics, and sometimes even senior centers.
If you or a senior you love are still unsure about getting the flu vaccine, or any other methods of flu prevention for seniors, Abrio Home Care can help! We offer elder care in Mesa and in many areas throughout Arizona that can help with transportation services to doctors’ appointments, medication management, picking up prescriptions and running other errands, and much more. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today online or at 877-71-ABRIO.