If you care for an aging parent or loved one, it’s important to stay abreast of preventive care. Getting recommended vaccines and health care treatments can help reduce your family member’s risk for developing complications from illness that can be dangerous to those older than age 65. This means making sure your loved one is vaccinated against pneumonia.
According to recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seniors should now receive the Prevnar 13 vaccine. This shot protects against pneumonia. This recommendation is in addition to the previous recommended vaccine for pneumonia, Pneumovax. In 2013, there were about 13,500 life-threatening cases of this disease in older adults, according to data from the CDC.
If your loved one has never received either of these vaccines, he or she should first receive Prevnar 13, with a dose of Pneumovax within six months to a year of receiving the first vaccine. However, if your loved one has already had the Pneumovax vaccine in his or her lifetime, a dose of Prevnar 13 is recommended once a year has passed since the first shot was given.
Unfortunately, while both vaccines are recommended for older adults by the CDC, Medicare does not currently cover the cost for both. This means that your loved one may have to pay for one of the shots out of pocket, at a cost of $130 to $150 for the vaccines. However, both shots may be covered by 2016.
These recommendations for seniors come in the wake of the successful use of Prevnar 13 in children since 2000. In addition, studies conducted in both the United States and Europe show an improved immune response in adults that receive both types of vaccination.
If you’re not sure what shots your loved one should receive, talk to his or her primary care physician, who can make personalized recommendations. And if your aging parent or loved one needs transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments, or help around the home, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Columbus today.
Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elder care in Columbus, offering a wide range of care and support services to seniors and older adults. To find out how one of our highly trained and compassionate caregivers could assist your aging loved one, call 614-481-8888 and speak with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.