Flu Season and the Senior Adult: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable
Flu season is here, with winter bringing the time when the influenza virus is most active. Senior citizens, especially those 65 and older, are more likely to experience severe symptoms from the flu when compared to younger, healthier adults. As our body ages, we experience a natural decline in our immune system. This decline makes us more susceptible to illnesses like the flu. The CDC reports that up to 85% of fatalities caused by the flu happen to seniors over 65. While the flu can touch anyone, the risk is particularly high for our senior community. Taking early precautions during flu season is crucial, and getting the flu shot can significantly reduce the risk of severe complications or even prevent the flu altogether.
Why Seniors Are More Vulnerable
As we grow older, it's natural for our bodies to experience changes, and one of the most significant shifts is how our immune system responds to threats. Fighting off common colds or the flu becomes tougher for our senior population and may take longer.
Furthermore, many older adults often face other health challenges like heart issues or diabetes. These existing conditions can complicate their body's reaction to the flu. So, it's not merely about getting older but how the years impact our overall well-being. This combination makes our elders more susceptible to flu outbreaks.
The Importance of Getting the Flu Shot
While the flu raises health risks, we have a simple preventative option at our disposal. The easiest approach to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated every year. There's even a high-dose flu vaccine specifically designed to provide better protection for senior adults.
Why is this vaccine especially important for seniors? Various factors, such as limited access to healthcare, reduced exposure to health information, living conditions, and differing activity levels, can heighten their vulnerability. As a result, getting a flu shot is not just about individual protection but also about safeguarding the community.
Other Ways to Stay Protected
Aside from the flu vaccination, seniors have other options for staying safe. Hand washing with soap regularly is an important step in preventing the transmission of the infection. Another important precaution is to keep a safe distance from persons developing flu symptoms, as this reduces the risks of becoming infected. Finally, staying current with local health announcements and flu patterns is critical. After all, being informed allows people to make the greatest decisions for their health.
How We Can Help
We genuinely understand the health challenges that our older community faces. If you're considering joining us or have been part of our family for some time, we want to ensure you have everything you need. Need to visit one of our centers? We've got plenty around for your convenience. We always encourage you to stay updated and safe, especially during the flu season. And if you've been wondering about everything we offer, we have a complete list of health services designed for seniors. Why not pop into a center nearby and get your flu shot?
If you found what you read helpful, we have many other health tips and resources tailored just for our senior patients. Simply click on “Health Resources” at the top of the page to read more.