This Year’s Flu Season for Seniors: Your Guide for What to Know
While COVID-19 still dominates our overall health concerns, it is important to bear in mind that other illnesses can be just as dangerous, particularly for older adults. Flu season for seniors is upon us, and it is time to ensure that the older adults you love are protected.
There are a number of different flu vaccines available, some that are better suited for older adults. These include:
- High-dose vaccines
- Adjuvanted vaccines
- Intradermal vaccines
- Nasal spray vaccines
Typically, adults over the age of 65 are encouraged to receive either a high-dose or adjuvanted shot, but seek advice from the physician for his or her recommendation.
If a senior loved one is reluctant to receive a flu shot, here are a few fundamental reasons to educate them on why it is so important:
- The immune system weakens as we grow older, making it more challenging to recover from infections.
- Serious complications due to the flu tend to be more frequent in seniors.
- 85% of flu-related deaths and up to 70% of flu-related hospitalizations occur in those over the age of 65.
- Secondary infections, for example, ear and sinus infections, bronchitis, and even pneumonia, can develop from contracting influenza.
In addition to receiving a flu shot, seniors can boost their immunity through:
- Maintaining a healthy diet that contains foods rich in vitamin C, D, and zinc, as well as lean proteins and complex carbs.
- Staying physically active with regular exercise each day. 30 minutes per day is ideal, and can be broken down into smaller portions throughout the day.
- Keeping the environment clean and sanitized. A HEPA filter will also help with improving indoor air quality.
- Improving sleep habits, aiming for eight hours of sleep every night. Implementing a routine at bedtime that includes calming activities, limiting technology and TV, and keeping the bedroom dark and cool are all methods to help.
Keep in mind that following COVID-19 safety recommendations can help with preventing other illnesses as well. Wash hands frequently, practice physical distancing, wear a face covering, and avoid large crowds.
Generations at Home’s caregivers are here to help! Let us provide transportation and accompaniment to doctors’ appointments and to receive a seasonal flu vaccine, in combination with our full range of in-home care services. We are available to also prepare healthy and balanced meals, motivate seniors to engage in regular exercise, and much more. Take the first step towards improving health and wellbeing for a cherished older adult by calling us at 727-940-3414 to request a free in-home consultation for in-home care in Clearwater & throughout Pinellas County.