As we head into fall and winter we begin to break out our sweaters and favorite holiday recipes, but the cool weather also means everyone is indoors more often and the chance to spread flu viruses is on the rise as well.
The cold and flu season affects seniors and caregivers the most. However, receiving a flu shot can significantly reduce the chance that you or your aging loved one will get sick. And if they do get the flu, having received the flu vaccine prevents the flu from developing into a more severe illness, meaning dangerous complications from a cold or flu will be reduced.
Why Should You Get a Flu Shot?
The CDC estimates that 70-85% of flu-related deaths and 50-70% of flu-related hospitalizations happen to those age 65 and older.
Taking care of yourself and your aging loved one is especially important as we enter this cold and flu season during the current pandemic. Hospitals around the country are overwhelmed with patients. Unfortunately, adults 65 and older account for most hospitalizations and deaths due to flu and Covid. One way to help make sure you or a loved one can significantly reduce the risk and spread of respiratory illness is by getting a flu shot.
Caregivers should also consider getting a flu shot as well. The more time spent with your aging loved one as a caregiver, means the more germs that can be passed back and forth. You can reduce the risk that you will get sick and pass it on to those you are caring for by getting a flu shot.
Even after receiving a flu vaccine, the CDC recommends continued safety precautions when running errands, during doctor visits, and visiting friends and family. During this pandemic, so many have seen how taking the proper steps of preparedness has aided in keeping us safe.
Even if you have the Covid vaccine and a flu vaccine, if you or your loved one has a pre-existing condition or are taking medications, these factors might weaken the immune system. The CDC says “even those who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission.”
When Should You Get Your Flu Vaccine?
According to the CDC, everyone should get vaccinated in September or October. The flu shot takes about two weeks before the antibodies that protect against the flu develop in the body. The CDC has also confirmed that the flu shot and Covid-19 booster can be taken at the same time.
Where Can You Get a Flu Shot?
The flu vaccine is free under Medicare. There is no copay needed nor do you have to meet a deductible to get the vaccine. Most insurance companies cover the flu shot under preventative care, and if you are not insured, many drugstores and health clinics offer flu shots at low cost.
It’s always a good idea to check with your provider first to see if they accept Medicare.
What Type of Vaccine Should You Get?
There are different flu vaccines, if you have questions about the different vaccines, you can talk to your health care provider or visit the CDC’s website page on Influenza. The main takeaway from the type of vaccine needed is this: “CDC recommends the use of any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine during the 2021-2022 influenza season…No preference is expressed for any influenza vaccine over another.”
Why Do You Need a Flu Vaccine Each Year?
Research has found that flu viruses are constantly changing. Each year the composition of a flu vaccine is reviewed. Then, a vaccine is updated based on the research that predicts which virus will be most common during the flu season. Also, our immune protection from vaccination declines over time, decreasing the integrity of antibodies.
Seniors that have chronic illnesses are more vulnerable because their immune systems are weak. Flu shots help protect our aging loved ones from complications of a more serious illness. For more information, talk to your health care provider today.
Protect Your Senior Loved Ones – Luxe Homecare Can Help
For more information about our exceptional Home Care Services in Los Angeles, CA and throughout Southern California, call Luxe Homecare now at (310) 459-3535 or call about Home Health at (310) 454-5500.