According to the Center for Disease Control, about 1 million people contract Shingles every year – with 60 percent of those being age 60 years and older.
Of all of the seniors who develop flu-like symptoms each year, about 65 percent are hospitalized as a result.
Combined, both pneumonia and the flu together are rated the 7th leading cause of death among Americans age 65 and older.
The risk of older loved ones suffering from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease due to influenza is 20 percent higher without vaccination, in addition to a 50 percent greater likelihood of loss of life.
Early vaccination and prevention is the key to fighting serious diseases that lead to everything from poor health, to unplanned work absences and more. It’s also necessary to be immunized in order to stop the spread of illness before it starts.
Immunizations often protect seniors from diseases related to the illness that is being prevented.
Below, we have compiled a list of essential vaccinations for loved ones over the age of 50.
Pneumococcal Vaccines – effective in helping ward off pneumococcal disease which can result in pneumonia, blood infection, middle-ear infection and meningitis.
Zoster Vaccine – helps protect against Shingles, a virus that affects people who have once had Chicken Pox. Some experts recommend being immunized if you have only been given the first dose of the vaccine as a child.
Because many people mistakenly believe the chicken pox vaccine protects against shingles, it’s important to talk to your doctor to find out what is the best form of protection for you.
Influenza – a viral infection that can easily be contracted through the spread of germs.
The Influenza vaccination is important because seniors are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if infected.
Hepatitis B – a virus that affects the liver.
Many times it can be successfully treated without further symptoms. But if left unchecked, Hepatitis B can cause damage to the liver.
Hepatitis A – Similar to Hepatitis B, this virus also affects the liver.
It’s usually spread by coming into contact with another person that has it or by fecal contamination. Hepatitis A can be prevented by vaccination and practicing food hygiene habits.
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis – Tetanus causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness. Diphtheria can lead to heart failure, paralysis or death, while Pertussis or Whooping Cough causes heavy coughing spells often resulting in medical complications, pneumonia or death.
MMR – Measles, Mumps and Rubella are three different diseases caused by three different viruses.
Measles can cause brain damage, pneumonia or lung-problems. Mumps can result in permanent deafness in one ear, while Rubella can lead to damage to the heart, brain, hearing and sight.
Staying healthy and getting any recommended vaccinations in a timely manner, can provide the protection your loved one needs against any and all preventable illnesses.
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