It’s cold and flu season and that means it’s time for your flu shot. Both caregivers and older adults should have flu shots this season. According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s estimated that people 65 years and older account for 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 50 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States.
Older adults must be extra cautious during cold and flu season as it’s noted that immune defenses weaken with age.
Steps to Combat Flu:
1. Get Your Flu Shot
Get your flu shot early, it takes about two weeks to establish immunity. Adults 65 years and older have two flu shots to choose from. A regular dose flu vaccine and a higher dose vaccine designed to overcome a stronger immune response to vaccinations.
2. Follow Good Hygiene
Wash hands frequently and cover coughs and sneezes with the crook of your elbow. Avoid crowded areas whenever possible.
3. If you experience flu-like symptoms, see a doctor early.
To help avoid serious complications from the flu, visit a health care professional as soon as your symptoms become suspect.
Symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Other symptoms may include vomiting and diarrhea, and respiratory symptoms can occur without a fever.
As with any health care advice and recommendations, consult your physician to determine the right treatment for you.