Here’s to Your Health: Pneumonia & Flu

Senior Health Seminar at the Oak Park ArmsA representative from Interim Healthcare will present a free program titled “Flu and Pneumonia Prevention” at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 11, 2018, at the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Avenue. The presenter will describe prevention, symptoms and solutions, and questions will be answered.

Seasonal flu is especially dangerous for seniors over 65 and others with weak immune systems. The viral infection can exhaust the body making it easy for life-threatening complications such as bacterial pneumonia to take hold. It can also worsen the symptoms of conditions like heart disease, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized. The combination of flu and pneumonia is the cause of at least 36,000 deaths, and 90 percent of these deaths are people over age 65.

The best way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot. According to the CDC, vaccination is especially important for people 65 years and older, because they are at high risk for complications from flu. Flu vaccines are often updated each season to keep up with changing viruses. Immunity wanes over a year so annual vaccination is needed to ensure the best possible protection against influenza

The 2017-2018 vaccine has been updated from last season’s vaccine to better match circulating viruses. Immunity from vaccination sets in after about two weeks. People 65 years and older can get any injectable vaccine (flu shot) that is approved for use in that age group.

Three recommendations from the CDC:

  1. Get a yearly seasonal flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal influenza.
  2. Take everyday preventive actions such as hand washing and covering the mouth during a cough or sneeze.
  3. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing.

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.