According to the CDC about 90% of deaths from the flu occur in individuals over the age of 65.  Several steps can be taken to protect the elderly from the flu such as washing hands during the flu season and getting vaccinated. However, the flu is just one illness that the elderly are more susceptible to. Below is a list of illnesses and the vaccines that are recommended to help prevent and decrease the chances of aging adults contracting potentially deadly illnesses. 

  • The Flu: As mentioned above, the flu can be deadly when contracted among elderly.  It is recommended that the elderly receive the Fluzone High Dose influenza vaccine which is designed specifically for people 65 years and older. 
  • Shingles: Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash usually presenting on an area that wraps around the left or right side of someone’s body. Although shingles is not life threatening it is extremely painful.  It is recommended that anyone over the age of 60 get the shingles vaccine in order to protect themselves against this very painful rash.
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis:  Everyone should get the combined Tetanus/Diphtheria/ Pertussis booster shot every 10 years.  Tetanus can be deadly if it enters a person’s bloodstream so it is important to make sure everyone including those over the age of 60 is up to date with their Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis booster.
  • Chickenpox:  Anyone who has not had the chickenpox should get vaccinated against it. However, those with potentially compromised or weakened immune systems should talk to their doctor before they get the chickenpox vaccine.
  • Pneumonia: The elderly are more at risk to contract Pneumonia  than younger individuals and over 90% of deaths from pneumonia occur in individuals that are over 65 years old.  The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) can help protect the elderly from getting pneumonia as it provides protection against 23 different strains of the pneumonia causing bacteria.
  • Measle/Mumps/Rubella (MMR): Measles is a virus that can cause high fever, rashes, diarrhea and the risk for death is higher in adults than in infants or children.  It is recommended that anyone that was either never vaccinated or vaccinated in the 1960s get the measles vaccine or the measles vaccine booster.

It is important that aging adults ensure that they are up to date in their vaccinations in order to prevent terrible symptoms or death.  Unfortunately there are no vaccines against other illnesses and diseases that may affect the elderly. If you or a loved one has had a recent health event and needs short term or long term care, Sprain Brook Manor nursing home located in Westchester can fulfill your needs. The Sprain Brook Manor rehabilitation center has several state of the art therapies to get you or your loved ones healthy once again.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as health advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual medical counsel or consulting your physician.