Now is a good time to sit down with your parents and discuss what vaccines are current and what is likely due. As long as they don’t have severe reactions to vaccinations or a medical reason to skip them, vaccinations help keep them healthy and can lower overall medical costs. These are the five vaccines you need to talk about.
#1 – Flu Shot
A yearly flu shot is important. If your parents haven’t bothered, they should. While they may have handled the flu in the past, there are no guarantees that the next case won’t lead to pneumonia and require hospitalization. It’s a quick vaccine that reduces the severity of symptoms if the year’s flu season leads to strains that weren’t predicted when developing the vaccine.
#2 – MMR
Measles, mumps, and rubella weren’t given to people until the late-1950s. There’s a strong chance your mom and dad never had the vaccine. If they had measles in their childhood, it’s likely the vaccine isn’t necessary. If they didn’t, recent outbreaks of measles across the U.S. makes it one to discuss.
#3 – PCV13 and/or PPSV23 Vaccine
Pneumococcal vaccines help reduce the risk of pneumonia. Both types of pneumonia vaccines are recommended but not during the same visit. Your parents should get PCV13 followed by PPSV23 about two or three months later. Five years after that, a PPSV23 booster should be given.
#4 – Shingles Vaccine
If your parents had the chickenpox, they need the shingles vaccination. Two doses are required. This lowers the risk of the reappearance of the herpes zoster virus that is in the bloodstream after chickenpox and suddenly returns in adulthood to attack the nerves.
#5 – TDAP
Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) are protected against with one combination shot. It’s likely your parents have had that shot already. What’s important to find out is when the last booster was given. It needs to be updated every 10 years. You may find that a booster is also given if your parent gets a cut or puncture wound.
You don’t want your parents to be sick. Make sure they’re vaccinated against everything their doctors recommend. If you struggle to balance work with their appointments, there is an easier way. Senior care services help your parents remain independent by offering rides, scheduling appointments, helping with housework, and much more. Call a senior care agency to learn more about the pricing and services in your area.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Cornelius, NC, please call the professional staff at Caring at Heart today at (704) 379-7510. Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail.