If you haven’t already, you’ll probably soon begin seeing signs advertising flu shots at Kansas City area drug stores. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu shots for anyone over the age of six months, it’s especially important for seniors to get vaccinated for the flu.
And if you’re caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s or other type of dementia, or anyone older than 65, everyone in your home who’s over the age of 6 months should get a flu vaccine. Including the person who has Alzheimer’s.
When to Get Your Flu Shot
The CDC says you can get a flu shot as soon as it becomes available at Kansas City area pharmacies. Although it’s best to get it by October 31, flu season continues through most of the winter. So if you don’t make the October deadline, it’s a good idea to get the flu shot anyway.
Why You Can’t Get Sick From a Flu Shot
It seems as though a lot of people are still scared to get a flu shot because they (or someone they know) “got the flu” from the flu shot. But in today’s day and age, that’s simply not possible. Here are the facts to dispel that old flu myth:
- First off, the flu vaccine is made from an “inactivated” virus, which means there’s no way it can make you sick.
- Secondly, flu shots don’t start working until a week or two after you get them. So if you get the flu a day or two after your shot, the vaccine hasn’t had time to work yet.
Additional Ways to Prevent the Flu
Although flu shots are the number one method of preventing the flu, there are some additional precautions you can take to prevent the spread of influenza:
- Wash your hands often, especially before eating and after using the bathroom.
- Avoid visits with grandkids if they are sick.
- Wipe down toys if you’ve had children over (or if one or more of your kids comes down with the flu).
- Give kids their own drinks/cups; discourage sharing.
- Avoid crowded places during flu season, when possible.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- Try to touch your face as little as possible.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; teach children to do the same.
Get Help With Caregiving if You’re Sick
It’s tough enough to be a caregiver when you’re at your best. But if you’re down with the flu, you really need your rest. So you might want to contact a Kansas City home care agency to help with Alzheimer’s or elder care while you’re ill.