It’s that time of year again: flu season. Being prepared by getting a flu shot is very important for seniors. In fact, between 50 and 70% of all hospitalizations and between 70 and 85% of all flu-related deaths happen in people that are 65 or older. A flu shot can greatly decrease your chance of contracting the virus that’s responsible for so many senior deaths and hospitalizations.
What is the flu?
The flu, or influenza, is an infectious disease that is caused by a virus, known as the influenza virus. There are countless strains of the virus and generally certain strains are more prevalent than others. The flu can invade healthy cells and cause an immune system response that attempts to fight the virus. Typically in healthy people, the virus runs its course and the immune system easily fights the virus. Unfortunately, with seniors, children, and those with compromised immune systems, the flu can cause severe issues, possibly including hospitalization and/or death.
How is it transmitted?
The flu is easily transmitted by various means. The most common are from something as simple as a sneeze or cough. When an infected person sneezes or coughs over half a million virus particles can be spread into the air, infecting those close by. One of the other most commons ways of transmission is by contact. This can include when an infected person touches something and then an uninfected person also touches the same thing and then touches one of their mucus membranes, like the eyes, mouth, nose, etc.
What can be done to prevent spreading it?
One of the easiest ways to prevent spreading the virus is to stay away from other people if you have it. Do not go to work or out to public places. Simply stay indoors and away from people. This will greatly prevent the spread of the virus. Another sure-fire way to prevent the spread of the virus is to wash your hands frequently. By simply washing your hands you are destroying the virus and its ability to spread to a surface.
How can seniors prevent getting the virus?
A flu shot. It’s as simple as that. Getting a flu shot will ensure that your body already has an immune system response built up and when the virus infects you it is immediately destroyed by your immune system. The flu shot has inert flu viruses within it. When injected into your body, your immune system fights it as if it was the real thing. Typically, there are little or no adverse side effects from getting a flu shot. However, some may experience minor side effects, although these are rare. See your doctor to make sure that it would be right for you.
Seniors looking to get a flu shot should look into what is known as a high-dose flu shot. This type of flu shot is a special version of the regular flu shot that gives seniors a better immune response. This ends up protecting the senior from the virus much better than a regular vaccine would.
When should I get the shot?
Typically, it’s recommended that seniors get the flu shot right before flu season, in October. However, getting the flu shot at any point will still allow for protection. So, if you haven’t already, seek out a medical professional and see about getting vaccinated today!
Where can I find more information?
The best place you can turn for more information is a healthcare professional, like your doctor. They would be able to give you all the information that you’d need to make an informed decision about a flu shot. You can also follow this link: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2018-2019.htm for more information.
Protecting yourself and those around you by getting a flu shot is very important. Seniors are especially susceptible to the flu and simply getting a shot could prevent possibly dire consequences. Be well.
Bonaventure Senior Living
At Bonaventure Senior Living, we have Retirement Perfected, Living Perfected, Dining Perfected, and Fitness Perfected. The best way to see for yourself is to Book-A-Tour today and discover how you can live life on your own terms. We specialize in Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care, that way, no matter what your current situation is, we have all levels of care covered if your needs ever change.
With Independent Living, we want you to enjoy Simplified Living, allowing you to have the freedom to do what makes you happy. Our Independent Living is designed to accommodate the exceptional senior lifestyle that you’ve earned. What’s even better, is that with Independent Living we offer whatever supportive services that you may need at any time you may need them. Now that’s Retirement Perfected.
Assisted Living at Bonaventure Senior Living is simple: all the lifestyle benefits of our Independent Living, but with any extra support that you may need. Our philosophy is based on three simple things: choice, independence, and dignity. Now that’s Assisted Living at its finest.
Every senior is a unique person, and our Memory Care approach is no different. We tailor our Memory Care by connecting with family members and taking time to understand each person’s specific circumstances. This includes mental, emotional, and physical health. Our Memory Care creates an honorable and professional plan to make sure that each person lives their life to the fullest. That’s the way Memory Care should be.