January 7, 2015

flu shot for seniorsJanuary and February are the peak of the nation’s flu season. If you haven’t gotten your vaccine yet this year, you should make it a priority. There are many locations in the St. Louis and St. Charles areas that offer the vaccination. After all, in the U.S. about 23,000 people die from the flu each year, and older adults are even more vulnerable to complications from the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And getting a flu shot any time during flu season will reduce your risk of getting the flu.

There are many myths regarding the flu vaccination, but regardless of the myriad of falsehoods, flu and pneumonia combined rank among the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., according to the CDC. So it is critical to know the facts about the flu.

It is true that some years the flu vaccine is better matched to current flu strains than other years, but it is still worth it to get vaccinated every year. Vaccination remains the most reliable way to reduce the risk for illness. And you should get one each year because the circulating strains change and immunity from the vaccine fades. Flu shots also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart problems.

This year, flu vaccination options include a shot that protects against three different flu strains, according to the World Health Organization. And adults ages 65 and older have the option to get a high-dose flu shot.

As always, in correlation with the flu shot, washing your hands frequently can really help protect against flu, as people can pick up the virus on their fingers and carry it to the nose, mouth and eyes. When washing, remember to wash your hands the right way—scrub for at least 20 seconds (the length of humming the Happy Birthday song, twice) using soap and water.

At Continuum, we are committed to ensuring our St. Charles clients are aware of the risk factors and preventative measures for the flu. In fact, our managed home care services include running errands, such as booking a flu shot appointment. Our St. Louis home care services provide the support needed to allow you to remain healthy and flu-free. Put contacting us—to find out more about our Missouri home health care services—on your to-do list, along with getting a flu vaccination.