Here’s to Your Health: Immunization

doctorA representative from Interim HealthCare will present a talk titled, “Immunization Awareness,” at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, at the Oak Park Arms retirement community, 408 S. Oak Park Ave. August is National Immunization Awareness month.

Vaccines today are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools for preventing disease and death. Currently, vaccines are available to protect children and adults against at least 17 diseases which can cause serious complications such as loss of hearing, infertility, paralysis and death.

It is estimated that 45,000 adults die annually from complications due to diseases that are vaccine-preventable. People age 65 and older are at the highest risk of complications and possibly life-threatening infections.

Even if people received vaccines as children, they may still need one or more vaccines in later life. In unvaccinated seniors, these preventable diseases cause significant illness and even death.

Vaccines recommended for older adults:
•    influenza (flu)
•    shingles
•    whooping cough
•    pneumonia
•    diphtheria tetanus

In addition, depending on a person’s individual risk factors, he or she may need additional vaccines for diseases such as:
•    measles, mumps and rubella
•    chickenpox
•    hepatitis A
•    hepatitis B
•    meningitis

Many adults worry about the side effects of vaccines or think they do not need vaccinations, but it is important for older adults to stay current on their vaccines. For example, they may not have been vaccinated as a child, immunity may have faded over the years, or new vaccinations may now be available.

Oak Park Arms Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides senior housing in the form of independent living. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information call 708-386-4040.