As you age your immune system weakens. This makes seniors more susceptible to the flu than the average adult. It also puts them at risk for flu related health complications. One such complication is pneumonia. The seasonal flu may be a small inconvenience to some, but it can be deadly to others. Ninety percent of flu related deaths happen to people age 65 or older.
By getting the flu shot, you are protecting yourself and your family. You don’t want to spread it to your caregivers, children, or grandchildren. Your caregivers and others you come in frequent contact with should also be getting the vaccine to prevent spreading it to you. The seasonal flu vaccine will help to protect you against three flu viruses that experts have predicted to be the most common this year. There are different options regarding dosage (regular dose and higher-dose) and means of vaccination (shot or nasal spray) so you should definitely talk to your health care provider about which vaccine is best for you.
Antibodies can take up to 2 weeks to develop so it is important to get your flu vaccine as soon as it is available. Don’t wait until the virus is wide spread and then be at high risk for an additional few weeks. As always, eating right, getting plenty of sleep and exercise and staying well hydrated will also help you to maintain your health.
If you are experiencing a high fever (103°F to 104°F), chills, fatigue, body aches, loss of appetite, or a dry cough you should speak to a health care professional. Getting the right care early on is key to a fast and successful recovery. Rhode Island home care patients should bring up any symptoms or concerns regarding the flu vaccine to their CNA so he or she can lead you in the right direction.
Wishing you a healthy flu-free season!