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Nova Scotia Seniors and Immunizations

Posted Apr 22, 2016

VaccinationYay! It’s immunization week – April 23rd-30th!  Any excuse for us, Nova Scotia Seniors to celebrate. Really, though, it does bring our thoughts to what we can do to keep ourselves healthy at home as we get older.

When we were kids, getting immunized not only meant better health, it also meant helping to rid the world of some of the worst diseases; Whooping cough, Polio, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Mumps, Measles. Lollipops all round seemed to soothe the panic of getting the dreaded needle.

Now, as seniors, we may think we are beyond immunizations but we are not. There are vaccinations for us too, some of which are available at the Pharmacy.

The flu shot – annually

It is usually aimed at the specific “brand” of flu that we’re facing during any given year. People say – “I don’t believe in that” – “there are so many strains of flu”. Well, they try to be on target and it can only help. Why get sick if you don’t have to? I get it every year

Shingles

Anyone who has suffered Shingles will tell you how much they regret not getting the shot. It is a very painful nerve disease and is accompanied by a nasty rash which will probably disappear in 4 – 8 weeks but the nerve pain can last for years. You should get this shot even if you’ve had Shingles before. Not to mention that in the beginning phases of the rash, you can become very contagious to those who have not had Chicken Pox.

Pneumococcal Pneumonia

This can make you very sick and, as we all know, the immune system in seniors is not what it use to be. This can prove debilitating and even fatal.

Whooping Cough/Tetanus / Diphtheria

This should be a shot every 10 years after the age of 19. If you haven’t had a booster, get it. None of these diseases are any fun to have.

Whooping Cough used to kill 8000 people per year in the US but since the immunization of babies, it has dropped to 20/year.

In 2013, Tetanus caused 59,000 worldwide. It is painful and characterized by painful muscle spasms strong enough to break bones

Diphtheria is another potential killer and while it is most prevalent in children, adults are also susceptible and could be affected by breathing problems, heart failure and paralysis

There are others, of course, if you have certain risk factors…. and more yet if you are traveling to exotic countries, which hopefully you are able to do in your retirement.

Certain countries will not allow you in unless you have proof of vaccinations against, as an example, Hepatitis, Measles, Yellow Fever. You would hate to travel all they way there to be turned away

Depending on where you are going, there are recommendations for vaccinations against Japanese Encephalitis (no… not only in Japan), Rabies (yes – rabies), Typhoid and Malaria.

Visit the Government of Canada Vaccines page where you can look up your country of choice and see mandatory and recommended vaccinations for each. Many cannot be last minute so this is well worth a visit before boarding the plane.

We, at Always Home Homecare we wish for the seniors of Nova Scotia and elsewhere to enjoy good health for many years to come and we encourage you to keep vaccinations up to date. You probably won’t be given lollipops but you will certainly be rewarded with a longer and healthier life. Enjoy it!

Is in home care right for your loved one? Schedule a free assessment to find out.