September 21, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

While COVID-19 still dominates our health concerns, it’s important to bear in mind that other illnesses can be just as dangerous, especially for seniors. Flu season is here, and it is time to make sure the seniors you love are protected.

There are several different flu vaccines available, a few of which are more appropriate for seniors. These include:

  • High-dose vaccines
  • Adjuvanted vaccines
  • Intradermal vaccines
  • Nasal spray vaccines

Typically, adults over the age of 65 are encouraged to receive either a high-dose or adjuvanted shot, but seek advice from the doctor for his or her recommendation.

If an older adult is reluctant to receive the seasonal flu vaccine, here are a few important reasons to educate them on why it is so important:

  • The immune system weakens as we get older, which makes it more challenging to recover from infections.
  • Serious complications from the flu are more frequent in older adults.
  • 85% of flu-related deaths and up to 70% of flu-related hospitalizations occur in those age 65 and older.
  • Secondary infections, such as ear and sinus infections, bronchitis, and even pneumonia can develop from contracting the flu.

Along with receiving a flu shot, seniors can boost their immunity through:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet which includes foods rich in vitamin C, D, and zinc, in addition to lean proteins and complex carbs.
  • Staying physically active with regular exercise each day. Thirty minutes daily is ideal, and can be broken down into smaller portions throughout the day.
  • Keeping the environment sanitized and clean. A HEPA filter will also help with improving indoor air quality.
  • Improving sleeping habits, aiming for 8 hours of sleep nightly. Implementing a routine at bedtime that includes calming activities, limiting TV and technology, and keeping the bedroom cool and dark are all techniques to help.

Keep in mind that following COVID-19 safety recommendations can help with preventing other illnesses as well. Wash hands frequently, practice physical distancing, wear a face covering, and avoid large crowds.

If you need the services of an independent living care agency, At Home Independent Living’s caregivers are available to help! Let us provide accompaniment to doctors’ appointments and to receive a flu shot, along with our full range of in-home care services. We are available to also prepare nourishing meals, encourage older adults to take part in regular exercise, and much more. Take the first step towards improving health and wellbeing for a senior by contacting us  online or calling us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to request a complimentary in-home consultation.