Many older adults don’t like to get flu shots in October, a month when it’s recommended. The reasons for this decision vary from their resistance to needles to their dislike of medications in general. No matter what your reasons are, you should realize that flu is a serious problem and taking flu shots will do you good.
According to the stats, flu causes about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada each year. This alone should be a motivating factor for you to get flu shots. Influenza can make you very ill. To know more about this health issue and how to prevent yourself from it, just keep scrolling.
Influenza is a respiratory viral illness that is contagious and is usually caused by influenza A or influenza B virus. The symptoms of this health issue are a cough, fever, stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches. The time when you are vulnerable to it starts in October and might last until May.
Older adults must avoid influenza because they often experience serious health problems or complications with it. The complications vary from pneumonia, an infection of the lungs to worsening of existing heart or lung conditions. In worse cases, these complications lead to hospitalizations or even death.
This is the primary reason why every senior should schedule flu shots like they schedule their visits to the doctor or get medical supplies from a reliable online destination like Halo Health Care.
How Flu Vaccine Works?
The flu vaccine will stimulate the body to produce more antibodies within two weeks. These antibodies will prepare your bodies to fight off viral infections swiftly. Scientists usually spend some time every year to decide which influenza you will be exposed to during the winter as the chances of influenza A and B are similar.
If the predictions made by the scientists are correct, more people get protected by having the required flu shots, and if the predictions are wrong, there are more cases of hospitalizations.
Are Flu Shots Safe?
Yes, flu shots are safe as they are made with either inactivated virus or recombinant technology. The former refers to virus that has been killed permanently while the latter means various virus proteins as cobbled together.
Side Effects of Flu Shots
The most common side effects of flu shots are redness or soreness on the arm where the shot is administered. Some people also have a fever, body aches, cough, etc. These side effects are mostly due to getting sick due to some other reason or just feeling off because you expect to feel lousy after a flu shot.
How Can Seniors Avoid Influenza?
Apart from making sure that you take flu shots recommended by your doctors, seniors can avoid flu shots by using the following strategies:
- Not exposing themselves to people who have influenza.
- Taking steps to boost your immune system by using strategies like having immune boosting foods.
- Making sure that hard household surfaces such as counters are cleaned regularly as they hold the virus for long.
- Washing your hands often and practicing good hygiene habits like taking a shower daily.
- Avoiding people who haven’t had their flu shot.
Are Flu Shots Less Effective in Older Adults?
Yes, it is a fact that flu vaccine is less effective in older adults because their immune system cannot respond vigorously and their bodies can produce only a limited number of antibodies. If you are worried that your flu shots might not be as effective as compared to the flu shots administered to a younger person, then you should know there are flu shots available that are designed to cater to the needs of older adults. These flu shots urge the aging immune system of older adults to produce more antibodies. Two such flu shots recommended for older adults are Fluzone High-Dose and Fluad
What to Do If an Older Adult Refuses to Get Flu Shots?
If you are a caregiver of an older adult who refuses to take any flu shots then here are a few things that might help you:
Understand their Concerns
Understand why the older adult is refusing the flu shots and find a solution. For instance, if the person is afraid of needles, you can ensure that they keep busy and don’t even see the needles while the flu shot is being administered.
Many older adults refuse flu shots because they don’t think it’s worth their time or money. In such cases, you need to provide them stats and data on how flu shots can help older adults. You should also bust their myths and let them talk to a medical professional if they want to.
Let Them Do It for Others
Many older adults will agree to go for a flu shot when they realize that their disagreement to get a flu shot can be risky for someone they love like their little granddaughter who has a comparatively weaker immune system. So, tell older adults to get a flu shot for the loved ones if they don’t want to do it for themselves.
Finally, you should make the experience of getting flu shots less daunting or stress-free for the older adults by accompanying the older adults when they go for the flu shots and giving them a treat like making a stop at their favorite food joint afterward.