You may already be seeing the signs around you: more people clutching tissues in hand, stifling coughs, and filling their shopping carts with orange juice and chicken soup. The change of seasons from summer to fall inevitably brings with it an increase in illnesses, and while many are viruses that simply need to run their course, others can be extremely dangerous, particularly for the elderly.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) strongly urges seniors to receive immunizations for the following illnesses that can be serious – even life-threatening – for seniors:
- Influenza: The medical community has been especially vocal about the need for flu shots for people of all ages, but particularly urges those 65 and older to be immunized. With symptoms of fever, sore throat, chills, coughing, aching muscles, nasal congestion and fatigue, the flu can quickly escalate in the elderly. The recommended immunization timeframe is September through mid-November, before flu season kicks into full gear.
- Pneumococcal Disease: A quite serious bacterial disease, this often presents in the lungs as pneumonia, but can also affect the brain’s lining, resulting in meningitis, or the bloodstream as bacteremia. The vaccination can be administered in conjunction with the flu vaccine, and is typically needed only once in a lifetime.
- Tetanus and Diphtheria: This combination vaccine protects against the bacteria found in soil, manure and dust that can enter the bloodstream through a wound and cause muscle stiffness and spasms, fever, headaches, fever and trouble swallowing (tetanus) and the more serious diphtheria, which can cause symptoms in the nose, throat or skin, perhaps even leading to paralysis, heart failure, swollen lymph nodes and death.
- Chickenpox (Varicella): Typically much more serious in adults than children, chickenpox can cause extreme sickness, including fever, aches, fatigue, sore throat and an itchy rash. The vaccine is recommended for those who have never had chickenpox; those who’ve been infected with varicella at some point in their lives have the natural immunity to protect them from suffering from it again.
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella: Although most adults born in 1957 or later should have received the vaccine, a second dose is recommended for those working in health care or who travel outside of the country, and an initial dose is needed for those born in 1956 or earlier.
Nightingale Homecare provides a full range of Phoenix senior home care services, both medical and non-medical, always supervised by registered nurses. We also can transport and accompany your senior loved one to get those all-important immunizations, and even stop by the store on the way home to make sure all the essentials are on hand if he or she should contract an illness.
Contact the Arizona elderly care company with the best senior caregivers any time to learn more at 602-504-1555!