This Flu Season: Protect Seniors by Protecting Yourself
Well, it’s that time again. Yes it’s fall. But, it is also the flu season. We’re used to hearing that children, the elderly, and pregnant women should get the flu shot; adults and caregivers tend to think of themselves as not needing the shot. But, everyone (with rare but notable exceptions like flu shot allergies) should get a flu shot.
For an infection that is mostly preventable, the impacts kills a lot of people: According to centers for disease control and prevention, each year more than 200,000 people will be hospitalized because of the flu, and 36,000 of them will die. Additionally, “during a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older.”
Most caregivers think about protecting seniors in their care, but it’s also equally important that caregivers be vaccinated. Since the flu is so deadly for seniors, it’s important to minimize the potential for them to become infected. That means that caregivers and those around seniors should be vaccinated as well as seniors themselves.
According to the CDC, there are three things that people can do to protect themselves from the flu:
- Get the vaccination.
- Take everyday precautions like avoiding sick people, washing hands, and cleaning infected surfaces.
- Take antiviral medications if your doctor prescribes it.