Getting the flu is miserable no matter what a person’s age. The stuffy nose, body aches, and other symptoms are just hard to live with. Fortunately, there is a way to protect against the flu. There is an annual flu vaccine that can keep you and your aging relative from getting the flu this year or at least make flu milder than it would otherwise be. If you’re thinking vaccines are for children or that your aging relative doesn’t really need a flu shot, there are plenty of reasons you should rethink getting them a flu vaccine. Below are 4 of those reasons.
#1: Seniors Are at Greater Risk
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people aged 65 and older are at the greatest risk for catching the flu and having a worse case of it. In fact, it can be deadly. The CDC says that between 70 and 90 percent of deaths due to flu occur in older adults.
#2: The Flu Vaccine Can Make Flu Less Severe
Many people resist getting the flu vaccine because they think it’s not effective. While it’s true that it isn’t 100 percent effective at preventing the flu, people who have been vaccinated usually have a much less severe case of the flu if they do get it. That means by getting the vaccine, your aging relative can avoid the serious complications that can lead to hospitalization or death.
#3: The Vaccine is Free with Medicare
If cost is a concern for your aging relative, you should know that the senior may not have to pay anything at all. Medicare covers the flu shot once per year for older adults. There is no copay or coinsurance for the vaccine, either. You just need to make sure the provider they see accepts Medicare before the senior gets the vaccine.
#4: The Vaccine Changes Every Year
One of the reasons people sometimes avoid getting the vaccine is that they don’t understand it is a yearly vaccine. After all, most vaccines are given only once in a person’s lifetime or twice at most. So, it seems strange that a senior would need to get the vaccine every year. However, the flu vaccine changes every year. There is more than one virus that can cause the flu, so the shot is reformulated each year to protect against the viruses that are expected to be most prevalent that year.
If your aging relative needs a flu vaccine, but you’re not sure how they’ll get to the appointment, home care can help. A home care provider can offer transportation to and from the clinic. In addition, a home care provider can stay with the senior after the vaccine to make sure they don’t have any side effects, such as pain at the injection site. If they do, the home care provider can apply an icepack to relieve the pain.
If you or an aging loved one is considering home care services in Purcellville, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.
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