When most people think of vaccinations, they think of infants, toddlers and adolescents. These demographics definitely need to be vaccinated, but do seniors need vaccinations too? Absolutely! There are several diseases seniors are especially prone to developing that can cause serious complications and even death. Vaccines can prevent seniors from developing these diseases.
Not only is chicken pox itchy, disfiguring and extremely uncomfortable, when it affects older adults, it can lead to serious complications. Even if a senior received a chickenpox vaccine as a child, he or she needs to be revaccinated. Seniors receive a specially formulated vaccine called the Zoster vaccine that protects against both chickenpox and a similar disease caused by the same virus: shingles. Shingles is one of the leading preventable health problems seen in Oklahoma assisted living facilities. Doctors recommend the Zoster vaccine for adults ages 60 and older because it reduces the risk of developing shingles by half.
Seniors who don’t relish the thought of getting shots will be relieved to know they can receive protection from three devastating illnesses with just one Tdap shot. Seniors should receive this vaccination once per decade. Besides protecting themselves, grandparents and great-grandparents have another compelling reason to receive this vaccination. Pertussis (whooping cough) is contagious and extremely harmful to infants.
Every year, thousands of seniors contract the flu. Many, especially those with other health problems, such as diabetes or heart disease, die from flu-related complications. The influenza vaccine is relatively effective at preventing the flu. Doctors urge most adults, including seniors, to have an annual influenza vaccination. The vaccine is modified each year to target particular flu strains and is usually available beginning in September. Anyone who has ever had the flu knows how debilitating it is. Senior healthcare providers say residents of assisted living facilities should absolutely be vaccinated because the flu is contagious.
If you’re concerned about assisted living healthcare in Oklahoma City for your loved one, you should make certain he or she receives the pneumococcal vaccine. Pneumonia is responsible for an estimated 60,000 deaths every year and many of those involve elderly patients who are far less able to fight off this debilitating disease. Fortunately, a one-time pneumococcal vaccine can drastically reduce seniors’ risk of contracting pneumonia. People who receive this shot when they are younger than 65 should have a follow-up vaccination five years after their initial vaccination.
While it’s true no one looks forward to getting a shot, fear of the needle is no excuse for failing to get vaccinated. A few seconds of discomfort can, quite literally, be the difference between life and death. At Village at Oakwood, we care about all aspects of our patients’ wellbeing. Senior healthcare is a huge priority to us, and we make it easy for our residents to get vaccinated. If you’re looking for quality assisted living in the Oklahoma City area, contact us!