Influenza is serious regardless of the age of the patient, however, it is most serious in infants and seniors (people over age 65). This is due to immunity declining as we age, which enables seniors to contract the flu more easily than other adults, and also makes them more susceptible to asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis. The CDC estimates that 90% of all flu-related deaths occur in people over the age of 65. This statistic alone should prompt seniors to get their annual flu shot.
Seniors have the option to get a regular flu shot, or the high-dose vaccine. Fluzone, the vaccine designed specifically for people over 65, has a high dosage of the vaccine because sometimes the regular flu shot has been shown to be less effective in seniors. Regardless of which you choose it’s important to get vaccinated for the flu either way.
The High Dose Vaccine
Created specifically for seniors, this vaccine contains four times the antigen as the regular flu shot. Research has shown that seniors who receive the high dose vaccine had 24% fewer flu infections than those that received the regular flu shot. This version of the flu shot has been approved for use in the United States since 2009.
Other Tips to Stay Healthy
- Frequently clean surfaces that receive a lot of hand-touching including keyboards, desks, phones, counters, doorknobs, light switches, etc.
- Be proactive for your own good health including getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, eating nutritiously and managing your stress.
- Try to avoid coming into contact with people who are sick.
- Frequently wash your hands with hot, soapy water.
Seek Medical Treatment Immediately if Symptoms Appear
Symptoms of the flu in seniors include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain/pressure in the chest or abdomen
For seniors who are especially at risk of developing severe complications due to the flu, antiviral drugs may be prescribed.
Always Best Care has been providing compassionate in-home care giving services to seniors for the past 20 years. If you live in the Raleigh area and are interested in finding out more information about senior living in Raleigh, or Raleigh assisted living communities, please call the Always Best Care Raleigh location at 919-724-4297 to set up a free care consultation. They look forward to hear from you!