If you are caring for a senior loved one, you want to do the best you can to keep your relative as healthy as possible. One important way to keep your loved one healthy is to make sure that he or she is up to date on vaccinations.
In the past, vaccines were primarily given to children during their pediatric wellness visits. Today, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) actually have a list of vaccines which are recommended for adults ages 65 and older. Here are the top vaccinations, presented by Home Care Assistance of Warren, NJ:
- Flu Vaccine – This vaccine should be given on a yearly basis and protects against the flu which can have serious consequences, including death, for seniors who typically have a weakened immune system. Consult a doctor or pharmacist as to the best time of the year to get the vaccine.
- Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) – This vaccine should be given every 10 years or as recommended by a physician and protects against the bacteria caused by tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
- Shingles – This vaccine should be given yearly to prevent shingles, a painful skin rash that develops on the side of the face and the body, and typically causes long-term pain. Your loved one should get the vaccine even if he or she has had the chicken pox, which is caused by the same virus as shingles.
- Pneumococcal – There are two types of vaccines available, both of which help to reduce the risk for pneumonia. Both are safe for older adults, but the second, which is a high dose of the vaccine, provides seniors with weakened immune systems with even more protection against pneumonia. Check with your loved one’s doctor or pharmacist to see which vaccination would be most appropriate.
The following vaccines may be recommended for your loved one depending on individual health issues. These vaccines include meningococcal, hepatitis A and B, and he Hib vaccine.
Seniors will likely be provided with information about beneficial vaccinations at their regular doctor appointments, which can also be used to screen for other health conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. If you are unable to attend a scheduled doctor appointment, a professional caregiver may be a great resource, providing reliable transportation and accompaniment to the doctors.
For more information about senior health or hourly or live-in care in Warren, call 908.450.9400 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Care Manager from Home Care Assistance of Warren.