Key Immunization Conversations For Seniors And Their Physicians
There can be little doubt about the miraculous nature of vaccines and their ability to stop previously deadly diseases from developing in those treated with them. Thus, it is most perplexing that a large number of seniors citizens have failed to keep current when it comes to being vaccinated themselves. Those who are aged 65 or older may in fact be in need of boosters for vaccines already administered in the past.
There is no better time to discuss this issue with your physician than August, which is National Immunizations Month. Diseases that can be prevented with modern vaccines run the gamut from diphtheria to shingles, and it makes good sense to stay on top of them.
Key Vaccinations For Senior Citizens
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has indicated that those older than 65 must remain current on the following vaccines:
1. Influenza/Seasonal Flu
Seniors have been told for years and years by physicians that they face a far greater risk of serious flu complications than younger individuals. With aging, the immune system loses strength and thus makes individuals far more susceptible to ailments related to the flu.
Annual statistics show that senior citizens are over-represented in the number of flu-induced hospitalizations and fatalities. Anyone under the impression that the flu vaccine has unacceptable levels of risk needs to know that both the CDC and the Public Health Agency of Canada strongly suggest that all seniors remain current with flu vaccinations, as these are the best defense obtainable.
2. Tdap or TD
The TD shot is a booster designed to guard against diphtheria as well as tetanus. Similarly, the Tdap vaccination provides coverage for those illnesses as well as whooping cough, otherwise known as pertussis. Each of these sicknesses has the potential to become deadly. Breathing issues are known to stem from diphtheria, due to the thickening that arises in the throat. Furthermore, tetanus can produce lockjaw, a condition which proves fatal in roughly one out of every five cases. The coughing that results from pertussis can be difficult to quell and is known to cause brain damage, seizures and even death in those affected.
3. Pneumococcal Vaccinations
The truth is that a pneumococcal disease is essentially a type of infection. It is the result of bacteria and may lead to bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, middle-ear infections and blood infections. Both young and old are vulnerable to this type of infection, and vaccination is the only mode of prevention. However, senior citizens are at greater risk of developing pneumococcal disease than all other demographic groups.
4. Zoster Vaccinations
This is a vaccine known to guard against an illness that plagues older individuals at alarming rates, namely, shingles. If you have ever known an individual afflicted by shingles, you already know that it brings excruciating pain and debilitating rashes. While the Zoster vaccination does not provide absolute protection against shingles, it does dramatically lessen the risk of acquiring the ailment. Also, if a case of shingles does emerge, it will be far less severe in someone who has received the Zoster vaccine.
Help From A Qualified Care Manager
When the time comes to have a discussion with your physician about vaccinations, having an advocate on your side can be a great help. Assisting Hands Houston employs the type of in home caregiver Houston trusts most. Not only can these professionals help with daily needs, they can also assist in the development of their Individualized Service Plan which provides a road map for comprehensive care.