It's that time of year to protect your elderly parents against the Flu. The flu shot is available and should be give to all people over the age of 50 (according to the CDC guidelines) and especially those elderly who live in nursing homes and long term care facilities. In addition you should consider the flu shot for all the family members that are living with your elder.
The flu kills about 36,000 annually and 200,000 are hospitalized from the flu every year. Wow, that's a lot of people dying from a preventable illness! The CDC also states that on average 5%-20% of the entire population get the flu annually. That's a bunch of folks running around potentially infecting your elder.
Last year my husband's cousin's son, Luke, died from the flu. He was a very active 12 year old boy who played all the sports. He was playing the last game of the year for his school's basketball team and fell over on the court. He was rushed to a local hospital and later taken by helicopter to a large children's hospital a few hours away. He died the next day. Oh, was that a tough funeral to attend. The tears let me tell you, not a dry eye in the large church. The family thought that he must have had a heart defect or some such because he died so suddenly, but the autopsy showed that he died from complications from the flu. It turns out he was "just getting over the flu" when he played the basketball game that day. What a tragedy.
Anyway, get your elder their flu shot. It is a low cost (free if you have Medicare) prevention that can make a huge difference in your elder's health. I know many of you think that you get the flu from the flu shot. Studies have shown that that is not true. The shot contains dead flu virus from the last season. It may not totally keep a person from getting the flu, but if you get the flu, it is usually a milder case.
I have had the flu once before and I thought I was going to die. I never felt so bad. I was living alone with just my 2 cats and I stayed on the couch for a week. There wasn't anyone to help me or give me any sympathy (which when you are sick is a very important thing), it was just me and the cats. Every year since, I have gotten the flu shot and I have never had the flu again. YEA!!!
Seriously, protect your elder from the flu.
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