September 23, 2021

Happy senior woman with a bandaide on her arm

Not all flu vaccines are created equal when it comes to seniors.

While COVID-19 still dominates our overall health concerns, it is important to keep in mind that other illnesses can be just as dangerous, particularly for seniors. Flu season is here, and it is time to ensure that the older adults you love are protected. 

There are a number of different flu vaccines available, some that are better suited for seniors. These include:

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

Generally, adults age 65 and over are encouraged to receive either a high-dose or adjuvanted shot, but check with the physician for his or her recommendation. 

If an older adult is hesitant to receive the seasonal flu vaccine, the following are some fundamental reasons to educate them on why it is so important:

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

In conjunction with receiving the seasonal flu vaccine, older adults can boost their immunity by:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet which includes foods high in vitamin C, D, and zinc, along with complex carbs and lean proteins. 
  • Staying physically active with regular exercise every day. Half an hour each day is perfect, and can be broken down into smaller segments throughout the day.
  • Keeping the environment clean and sanitized. A HEPA filter can also help with improving indoor air quality.
  • Improving sleep habits, aiming for eight hours of sleep nightly. Implementing a routine at bedtime that includes calming activities, limiting TV and technology, and keeping the room cool and dark are all ways 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.

Continuum’s caregivers are here to help with our compassionate in home health care in St. Louis and surrounding areas! Let us provide accompaniment and transportation to doctors’ appointments and to receive a seasonal flu vaccine, along with our full range of in-home care services. We are available to also prepare wholesome meals, encourage older adults to take part in regular exercise, and more. Take the first step towards improving health and wellbeing for an older adult by contacting us online or at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 to request a free in-home consultation.