Staying healthy for our families is one of the most important things we can do as seniors. August is National Immunization Awareness Month, which serves as a great reminder for us that vaccines are one of the simplest and most effective tools we can use to make sure we stay healthy as we age.
Vaccines can prevent serious and potentially deadly diseases in people of all age groups, but it is especially important that seniors take steps to educate ourselves about the vaccines that are most important for people age 65 and older. Some diseases that may not be as harmful to younger people can be extremely dangerous in older individuals, and it is important to be vigilant.
Vaccines can help prevent diseases that, as we age, can have harmful effects on our health and wellbeing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides valuable information on how important vaccinations are to seniors, and even provides a quiz that you can take to determine which vaccines you should get this year to stay healthy.
One of the vaccines best-suited to seniors is the pneumococcal vaccine, which prevents a disease that, even though it’s most common in young people, can pose danger to adults 65 and older. Additionally, the CDC recommends a pertussis vaccine (for those who haven’t received a Tdap vaccine), a tetanus vaccine every 10 years after your Tdap vaccine, two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix (for adults 50 and over), and of course your seasonal flu shot. If you ever have doubts, the best course of action is to always consult your doctor about what vaccinations are best for you and your family, especially if you are planning to travel to certain countries where a disease is prominent.
Nobody likes needles, no matter what age you are! But we need to ensure that we are taking every precaution to safeguard our health, and vaccination is one of the easiest ways to do so. It is especially good news that most necessary vaccines are covered under Medicare Part B and Part D, enabling us all to have access to these potentially life-saving treatments.
As children and grandchildren get ready to go back to school, they may need vaccinations, as well. Make it a family priority to get yourself vaccinated, too, and keep the whole family safe and healthy this year! Remember, by getting the proper vaccinations, you not only ensure that you stay healthy, but that your family and grandchildren do too!