Vaccinations provide senior adults with an added level of protection against a number of conditions that can affect health, quality of life, and even result in premature death. All common vaccinations are safe and effective and have been tested and approved for older adults by the FDA. To promote health and wellness for our clients, Home Care Assistance of Bridgewater shares the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended list for senior vaccinations:
- Influenza (Flu) – The CDC recommends the flu vaccine to everyone 6 months and older, but also to seniors who are especially prone to developing complications from this yearly bug. Available as an injection or nasally, this vaccination is widely available through various pharmacies.
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster) – This one-time vaccination reduces the risk of developing shingles, which are painful skin rashes that develop on the face or body. Even though shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox (herpes zoster), it is recommended that everyone over 60 receive this vaccine.
- Diphtheria – Diphtheria is a bacterial disease that causes a thick covering on the back of the throat and is accompanied by a low-grade fever and sore throat. Especially in the elderly, diphtheria can progress to breathing issues, paralysis, and, in some cases, death. This vaccine is usually given in conjunction with a few others on this list.
- Tetanus – Tetanus is the virus that causes lockjaw and is recommended to all age groups but especially seniors as its symptoms can escalate quickly. Not passed person to person, tetanus is transmitted primarily through contaminated soil or debris.
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – Pertussis is a bacterial infection that can cause a terrible cough that the disease is named for. One or two of every hundred patients who contracts this disease will die from it, and it is incredibly viral, passing from person to person through the air. Even after an initial dose, should receive booster shots to insure immunity.
- Pneumococcal Disease (Pneumonia) – Pneumonia is known as a leading cause of death among the elderly so the vaccination is recommended to all older adults 65 years and older. Pneumococcus bacteria is spread by coughing and sneezing and once infected can be difficult to treat.
To learn more about senior health and wellness or how to protect a senior loved one against common illnesses, reach out to Home Care Assistance and learn more about our hourly and live-in care plans for seniors in Bridgewater. Call 908.450.9400 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.