It’s Flu Season – Protect Your Loved Ones

It’s Flu Season – Protect Your Loved Ones

Flu season is here again. And those over 65 are at a higher risk of complications than just about anyone else.

 

Why is someone over 65 at greater risk?

As you get older your immune system weakens. This weakening makes those 65+ years more vulnerable to the flu. Taking the right precautions might prevent hospitalization death.  According to the CDC, in recent years, statistics have shown that an estimated 80 to 90% of all seasonal related flu deaths were people 65+ and 50 to 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations were in that age group.

 

Actions to Take This Flu Season

  • Flu shots – The best way to prevent the flu is with a flu vaccine. Get it as soon as it is available as the vaccine not only protects the seniors but also prevents them from spreading the flu to their spouse, children, or grandchildren.  The 2015-2016 vaccine has been updated from last season’s vaccine to better match circulating viruses.  People 65+ have two options – a regular dose flu vaccine and a newer higher-dose flu vaccine designed specifically for people 65+ that results in a stronger immune system.  Seniors should talk to their health care provider to decide which one is right for them.  Immunity from vaccination sets in after about two weeks.
  • Good health habits – a good way to prevent one from getting the flu is by stopping every way possible people get it. From washing hands frequently to covering the mouth when coughing. These little health habits can help in the long run.

 

  • Avoid coming into contact with people who are sick Unfortunately, seniors are in doctors’ offices and hospitals much more often and thus much more subject to people who are sick.
  • Pay close attention to the body – If for any reason a senior experiences symptoms of the flu don’t wait – seek medical advice ASAP. Those symptoms include: fever, coughs, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

It’s very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat flu in seniors (and others) as they have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications, such as pneumonia.

Because seniors are at an increased risk of getting pneumonia, seniors should talk to their health care provider about the pneumococcal vaccine.

 

Medicare covers the cost of both the flu and pneumonia vaccines.

 

Don’t wait, take care of your loved-ones now.

 

If you have questions or need information about your loved-one’s life issues don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  We love helping our clients get the information they need from personal issues to daily money management, home management and more.