First COVID, now we need be concerned with the Flu Season approaching. Should seniors get a flu shot? Seniors over 65 years of age have 50-75% fewer antibodies and it is suggested they receive the flu shot before the end of October to allow 2 weeks for the flu antibodies to develop in their body. A higher dose of the flu vaccine specific for seniors over 65 is recommended by the CDC to build up immunities faster.
Within 1-2 weeks of receiving the flu vaccine seniors may experience soreness, redness or swelling on the site of the shot, and may have muscle aches. Local CVS and Walgreens offer free flu shots by appointment. If a senior opts to forego the flu shot the symptoms of the flu could last for 3 weeks or longer depending on other chronic illnesses. Life threatening complications increase with seniors over 65. Over 85 percent of the flu related deaths each year are seniors over 65, reports the CDC. Texas has the highest percent of flu cases in the country per capita.
The most common complication from the flu is pneumonia. Any chronic heart or lung disease can be worsened by the flu. A
Pneumococcal vaccination reduces the risk of bacterial pneumonia and is generally given at the same time as the flu vaccine.
Flu viruses spread through air borne droplets, similar to COVID-19 although generally is not as severe. Flu is contagious through sneezing, coughing, talking or exposure of air droplets on hard surfaces, such as counters, tables, doorknobs, or phones. Continuing to wash hands, sanitize counters, minimize exposure in crowded rooms, and getting a flu shot will minimize the risk.
Cold symptoms may look very similar to flu symptoms with cough, runny nose, and a fever. But colds will generally only last a few days with a low fever. If a senior experiences a cold that lasts longer with vomiting, persistent headache, and an elevated fever, consult with a physician immediately.
If we can assist you at home with meal preparation, errands, or companionship please contact us at Comforts of Home by calling (936) 647-0674 or email Jamie@YourComfortsofHome.com