Never Too Late - August 2022


The Sandwich Generation and the Need of Immunizations By Kelley Hansen, Aging and Caregiving Specialist As a result of the sandwich generation, childhood vaccines are current including Meningococcal. With age, your lifestyle

If you had chickenpox as a child, you could reactivate it as an adult, and this will cause shingles. If you have a weakened immune system or are over the age of fifty, shingles can cause complications. A healthy adult over the age of fifty can get the vaccine, which consists of two doses. To protect your grandchildren and unborn grandchildren, the older population should get the TDAP (Tetanus-Diphtheria- Pertussis), as it is available to all age groups. Vaccines are given to a child and as an adult; the boosters are given every ten years as adults. Speak to your doctor about when to get the booster shot. All age groups can receive the Hepatitis B vaccine and booster shots may be necessary for some people. This vaccine protects against lifelong infection. The COVID vaccine is currently free of charge, and it is recommended that you get a booster shot. Check with your doctor or the CDC for the latest information on this vaccine. Vaccines get missed because people get caught up in the busyness life, there is too much responsibility on the sandwich generation, and the older population may forget. Ask your doctor to help with these reminders and updates, as it is important to see your doctor regularly. As you get your loved ones and yourself vaccinated there can be a peace of mind about protection against the number of diseases.

and health change, so you may need additional protection from different diseases. COVID, flu/influenza, TDAP (Tetanus- Diphtheria-Pertussis), Shingles, Hepatitis B, and Pneumococcal/Pneumonia vaccines are available to older adults. Medicare B covers these vaccines. Vaccines are easily available at your primary care doctor's office, a local pharmacy, low-cost clinics, or hospitals. Your insurance company will cover many of these vaccines that are recommended. Vaccines are still available at low-cost clinics if you do not have insurance. There are many reasons people may not get vaccinated, but please do not let it be due to cost. Vaccines have been around for years, and studies show that they can be safe and effective. However, if you are unsure if you should get vaccinated, please talk with your doctor. Doctors know the best way to protect you and your family. To be protected against the flu season, the best time to get the flu vaccine is around the end of October. The vaccine will take about two weeks to become effective, so continue to protect yourself. Even if you do not get it by the end of October, still get it. The adult population over the age of sixty-five can develop serious complications from the flu and it can turn into Pneumonia. The Pneumococcal vaccine can help prevent Pneumonia, Meningitis, and Sepsis.

let us focus on the significance of vaccinations for all age groups. The sandwich generation is adults in their middle years, between the ages of 35 and 54, who are caring for their growing children and their aging parents at the same time. Many generations are being exposed, so it is difficult to prevent the spread of illness and harmful diseases. Although not everyone can get vaccinated, and some choose not to get vaccinated, this month is National Immunization Awareness Month , so let us emphasize the importance of vaccinations. Vaccines are created to save lives, protect you and others you care about, protect the future generations, and save you time and money. As we have seen in the last couple of years, germs and illnesses can spread rapidly, causing an outbreak. In older adults, vaccinations are particularly important because our immune system weakens as we get older, and it is harder to fight off infections. Our older adults can have complications that lead to long-term illness, hospitalizations, and even death. Not everyone can get vaccinated due to allergies or other health issues, so it is important to use other health protocols as well. It is encouraged that young and middle- aged adults get vaccinated for COVID, flu/influenza, and Whooping Cough. You will also want to make sure your

August 2022, Never Too Late | Page 9

Pima Council on Aging

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