How to protect your health during winter
As people get older, it becomes more difficult to fight infection. Of course, everyone knows that older people tend to be more vulnerable when it comes to fighting infectious diseases, but there are lots of other diseases that can be worse for seniors.
Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your health.
What vaccines to get – and when
Most importantly, get a flu shot before every winter! If you were to get sick with the flu, and then contract an infectious disease – or suffer from co-infection – you could experience severe symptoms requiring hospitalization.
While the flu vaccine might be the first inoculation you get, it shouldn’t be the last. These vaccines are also important and covered by Medicare and most insurance:
- Pneumococcal vaccine: This one-time vaccine can protect you from developing pneumonia.
- Zoster or shingles vaccine: This vaccine can reduce your risk of a painful shingles infection by about 50 percent.
- Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap): This vaccine protects you from whooping cough, or pertussis, and it’s especially important if you’re around young, unprotected children who haven’t had all their vaccines yet.
- Hepatitis B: Ask your doctor if you’re at risk. Together, you can decide if this vaccine is right for you.