Senior Care: Immunizations & Preventative Care

August is National Immunization Awareness Month.Recommended Senior Immunizations

As we head in to fall, it will be time for many to consider getting their flu vaccination, which is especially important for those with compromised immune systems and elders. The CDC offers some information on the influenza immunization.  As they indicate, while effectiveness can vary, the flu shot has been shown to reduce likelihood of hospitalization and serious illness in elders.  They recommend that those who care for elders and others with compromised immune systems also get the flu shot.

The U.S. Preventative Services task force recommends the following measures for seniors over age 65 (Journal of the American Medical Association, December 23/30, 2009—Vol 302, No. 24). Recommendations may vary depending on your age, health status and more. Please talk to your physician about your plan of care.

Vaccinations: • Influenza vaccine (annual) • Pneumococcal vaccine (one time) • Tetanus vaccine (every 10 years) • Zoster (shingles) vaccine (one time)

Screenings: •Alcohol use screening and counseling • Breast cancer screening (mammography every 1-2 years) • Blood pressure screening • Colon cancer screening (up to age 75)• Depression screening • Diabetes screening (in those with blood pressure over 135/80 mm Hg)  • Lipid disorder screening (in all men and in women at increased risk of heart disease) • Obesity screening (with counseling intervention for those who are obese) • Osteoporosis screening (in women at risk) • Ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysm (one-time screen for men aged

Preventative measures: • Aspirin for preventing cardiovascular disease • Exercise (3 times/week for 30 minutes or more & strength training 2 times/week) • Healthy diet; dietary counseling for those at risk • Limit alcohol consumption (no more than one drink/day for women, no more than 2 drinks/day for men) • Don’t smoke

We encourage you to talk to your doctor about recommended immunizations, wellness screenings and tests. Starting in 2011, Medicare began covering preventative services (including an annual wellness visit and screenings for colon, prostate and breast cancer) at 100%. This is a great benefit since early detection is so vital.

We require all of our caregiver staff to get a flu shot since they are working with elderly clients in the home.  EasyLiving encourages proactive healthcare and wishes all of you a healthy year!

EasyLiving is your Clearwater and Pinellas County Home Health and senior care provider.  Contact us if we can help with home care needs, aging in place, eldercare concerns or advice.