The cold season is upon us, and that means the flu is, too.
Compared with young, healthy adults, seniors are more likely to develop serious flu complications. As we age, our immune defenses change, and during the flu season, severe flu disease is most prevalent among people 65 years old and older, although flu severity varies from season to season.
“Community health is a top priority at any senior living community,” says Debbie Ferry, RN, BSN, Senior Director of Clinical Services at Peter Becker Community. “All of us at Peter Becker Community work together to keep everyone healthy by getting the flu vaccine. We do this so we can continue to enjoy gatherings as a community.”
Keep reading to learn more about the importance of flu shots for seniors, and specifically how Peter Becker Community approaches the flu season.
A Few Flu Facts
You might think you know everything you need to know about the flu, but there are new discoveries made all the time. Review the following flu factoids:
- While getting vaccinated is the best method of preventing the flu, healthy habits such as coughing into your elbow and washing your hands frequently also help a great deal.
- As well as reducing flu symptoms and severe illness for those who do get the flu, the flu vaccine can reduce the number of people who get it.
- When you are vaccinated against influenza, you’re protecting your future self as well as those around you who may be more vulnerable to serious flu illness.
- Flu vaccines help to prevent medical visits, illnesses, unforeseen hospitalizations, and deaths each and every year. Flu vaccination is also beneficial to people with chronic health conditions. A reduced risk of some cardiac events has been linked to influenza vaccination in people with heart disease.
- According to CDC estimates, 70 to 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths happen to people 65 and older.
- Seniors account for 50 to 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations.
- A heart attack is three to five times more likely if you have the flu.
So, while the consequences of going unvaccinated can be serious, a quick seasonal shot takes just a few minutes.
At Peter Becker Community, we hold annual health events for vaccinations of all kinds, including flu vaccines.
Peter Becker Community is a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC, specializing in Residential Living, Personal Care, Skilled Nursing, Rehabilitation, Memory Care and Hospice Care.