Posts Tagged ‘older adults’

The Hidden Risks from the Flu

Did you know that having a bout of the flu can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke for months after? Older people are especially susceptible to experiencing serious complications from the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone age 65 and older get an annual flu vaccine. Visit the CDC’s website for more information on flu prevention.

National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and with flu season only a few months away, it is a great time to remind older adults that vaccines aren’t just for kids! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults over age 65 are at greatest risk for complications from the flu. The CDC recommends that everyone age 6 months and above get a flu vaccine by the end of October if possible.

Older adults are also at risk for contracting shingles, a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. According to the CDC, one in three adults age 60+ will get shingles, and one in six will suffer from long-term pain caused by their bout with shingles. A vaccine can reduce your risk of contracting shingles and, if you do get the virus, it can help lessen the chance that you will suffer from long-term pain.

Be sure to discuss which vaccines are recommended for you with your healthcare provider. Your doctor can tell you which vaccines are appropriate given your age, health history and other personal information.

For more information on the CDC’s vaccination schedule, visit their website

Celebrating Older Americans Month: Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.

The Elders

Home Care Plus is celebrating Older Americans Month this May! This year’s theme, Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow. is focused on educating older adults on how they can stay safe from unintended injuries. Older Americans Month, sponsored each May by the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), is placing emphasis on injury prevention, including fire, motor vehicle, and consumer product safety; improper use of medicine; and more.

According to ACL, “unintentional injuries to this population result in at least 6 million medically treated injuries and more than 30,000 deaths every year.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites falls as the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those aged 65+. More than 21,700 older adults die from falls each year, and every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an Emergency Department for a fall-related injury. The medical cost of falls is currently estimated to top $30 billion each year.

It is a common misconception that falls are a normal part of aging, and they can be prevented through a combination of interventions. These include exercising, getting a fall risk assessment, reviewing medications, having vision and hearing checked, and making the home environment safe. More tips are available at www.ncoa.org/FallsPrevention.

The CDC has prepared a home fall prevention safety checklist, called Check For Safety, that is a great resource for anyone looking to fall proof their or their loved ones’ home. Put safety first as you age to celebrate many healthy tomorrows!