Flu season is here and seniors and caregivers are vulnerable.
Cold and flu season is upon us again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone should get vaccinated before the end of October, but anytime is better than not getting a shot at all.
Getting a flu shot reduces the chance that you, your older adult, and your family will get sick.
Two of the most vulnerable populations are seniors and caregivers. That’s because older adults’ immune systems are weaker due to age and because chronic stress impairs caregivers’ immune systems. Plus, spending a lot of time with each other means you’re more likely to pass germs back and forth.
We share 4 key reasons why seniors and caregivers should get a flu shot as soon as possible.
- Avoid serious health complications for seniors
For seniors, the flu can be a severe illness and may cause death. 90% of flu-related deaths and more than 50% of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 and up. The CDC recommends a high-dose shot for seniors.
- The shot needs 2 weeks to become effective
Flu activity starts as early as October. After getting the shot, it takes about 2 weeks for the protective flu antibodies to develop in the body. So, the sooner you and your older adult get the shot, the sooner you’ll have protection against the flu.
- Getting a flu shot is quick, convenient, and free
Flu shots are now available in many convenient locations.
Doctor’s offices and major drugstores make getting a flu shot quick and convenient. Stores like Walgreens and CVS are open 24/7 and don’t require an appointment. That means you can squeeze in the shot at a time that works best for your schedule.
And most insurance companies cover it as a preventive service, so flu shots are free for many people.
Find a drugstore flu shot clinic near you:
- Visit their Store Locator page
- Enter your zip code
- Click “More Filters,” check the “Flu Shot” box, click the “Apply Filters”
- Or, schedule an appointment
- Visit their flu shot page
- Use the red “Find a Pharmacy” or “Find a MinuteClinic” buttons to search for a location near you
- Save yourself from added suffering
Having the flu makes you feel terrible, but you can’t just drop your caregiving and life responsibilities. Being sick just adds to the stress of caregiving. Get a flu shot to reduce the chance that you’ll be dragging yourself through the days, sick as a dog.
Getting flu shots as soon as possible is a smart way to protect both you and your older adult from serious illness.
For more information, visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions page to find out:
- What’s new for the 2016-2017 flu season
- Why the nasal spray option is not recommended
- What types of shots are available
- What the updated guidelines for egg allergies ar