Did you know that, 74% of seniors live with at least one chronic condition and that the seasonal flu can worsen chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, trigger strokes and increase seniors’ risks for heart attacks?
For the last number of years, I’ve been cognizant of the importance of my parents getting the flu shot, especially as they have gotten older but also because a number of years ago, when Dad had his first heart attack, the doctor at the time made it very clear that his immune system was compromised.
The thing is, NOBODY wants to be sick from the flu and according to early indications from Australian data, “this year’s flu season is likely to be ‘very difficult’”.
VERY DIFFICULT! Gah!
With Mom and Dad both having health issues, I’m even more aware that they need to be protected from anything like the flu that could make their ongoing conditions worse. Also, any time I have an illness, even so much as a sniffle, it means that I’m limiting my visits with them which is MISERABLE! Last winter, while Dad was in the hospital after having a stroke, there was a block of time where I couldn’t go to the hospital as I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want to expose him to anything and truly, I can’t even begin to tell you how awful that made me feel! (More awful than the illness itself!)
I think we owe it to the people that we love to help them be the healthiest versions of themselves possible. The flu is really nothing to take lightly. In Canada, influenza contributes to an average of 12,200 hospitalizations and an average of 3,500 deaths each year
The reality is, seniors are a whole bunch more likely to get the flu in the first place because their immune systems are generally weaker. And when they do get the flu, they’re also more likely to get sicker than us younger folk – making it all the more important that we help our parents and grandparents stay healthy and protected.
The good news is that vaccination is one of the best ways to be protected. There’s even a higher-dose version of the flu shot designed especially for seniors that would work better for them, and it’s available free of charge to anyone in Nova Scotia in long term care facilities.
We’re heading into flu season again and this is my yearly public service announcement to speak to your health care provider about the best flu shot for you and your senior loved ones.
Disclosure: This important content was sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur. As always, opinions are my own