Elder Care - Preparing for Flu Season
Flu season will soon be upon us. It generally peaks from November to April. Now is the time for people, especially seniors, to consider getting a flu shot. The best time of year to get one is October or November. This will help prevent contracting the serious illness when flu season arrives. At Interim HealthCare, all of our caregivers keep an eye out for those that will likely benefit from a flu shot, and our senior home health care providers also pay special attention for flu symptoms. Approximately 114,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die from the illness annually in the US.
What Does It Prevent?
The flu vaccine prevents the strain of influenza it is made from, and does not protect people from flu-like symptoms that are not actually the flu. Occasionally, someone who has received a flu shot will still get the illness. In such case, it is not as severe as if they had not been vaccinated. Contrary to popular myth, the vaccination does not cause the flu.
Who Should Get One?
A flu shot is recommended for those in high risk groups. This includes people over the age of 50, as well as anyone who lives in a long-term healthcare facility that has residents with long-term illnesses. Also at serious risk for contracting the flu are those over 6 months of age with chronic heart problems or lung conditions, such as emphysema or asthma, and those under a doctor’s care for immune or metabolic diseases. Additional groups that could benefit are pregnant women more than 3 months gestation during flu season, and all children between 6 months and 2 years of age.
If you are not in a high risk group, you might still want to be vaccinated. Check with your home caregivers personnel before getting one if you are allergic to eggs or have had an allergic reaction to flu vaccines in the past. Home healthcare providers or other workers who are frequently around high risk individuals should have a flu shot to prevent becoming ill and passing it on. Interim HealthCare provides the shots through our highly trained medical staff. Contact us for details.

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