Encourage Seniors to Get Flu Shots in Assisted Living

senior-medical-flu-shotAs per information provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) when it comes to seniors ages 65 or older who are hospitalized, as many as 60 percent have seasonal flu-related illnesses. Even worse, 90 percent of all flu-related deaths occurring every year involve seniors. Regardless of how dangerous the flu is, the number of senior citizens opting in for the flu shot is decreasing every year. Caregivers can serve as a role model by maintaining proper hygiene and by getting the flu shot as well. You can also take the following measures in an effort to encourage seniors to make the healthy choice of getting a flu shot:

Drop a Casual Reminder

It is possible that a senior has every intention to get the flu shot this season, but as life would have it, things keep coming up in the senior’s personal life or the senior simply forgets. A simple casual reminder from a healthcare giver can be all that is needed to get the senior to get the life saving flu shot. The caregiver should strategize when the reminder is offered: A good time would be when the senior is scheduling a visit to a physician for a physical.

Make It Easier for the Senior to Travel: Offer to Take Them to Get the Shot.

It might be possible your senior is not getting the flu shot because they have no way to get to the doctors and are having trouble finding convenient transport. For seniors in a retirement community or for those in long-term care facilities such as those found at www.carltonseniorliving.com, it is a lot easier for to get the flu shot: This is because communities will often schedule an event making it possible for residents to get the shot if they want it. Not every senior is in long-term care or residing in a community for retired individuals. If transport is an issue, offer the senior a ride to get the shot or make an effort to coordinate some transport to and from the location where the shots are offered.

Talk to the Senior and Provide Them With Information About the Flu Shot.

If the senior has been misinformed about the flu shot, he or she may be hesitant about getting it. Sometimes the person is simply afraid of the potential side effects of getting the shot. Some seniors fear getting the flu from having the shot, and others feel that the shot really does not offer any kind of protection. As a caregiver, you can provide the senior with some educational resources in order to calm their fears and clarify the importance of getting the vaccine to ensure lasting health.

Honor the Choices the Senior Makes.

The decision a senior makes in relation to getting the flu shot is entirely their own. You do not have to agree with it but you must respect it. Even if you are not in agreement with the decision, you can remain open minded and simply listen to the point of view of the senior. In the event the senior gets the flu in the future, make sure they drink enough water to avoid dehydration.

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