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Necessary Immunizations for Seniors Who Travel

If your senior loved one likes to travel outside of the country frequently, it’s possible he or she needs some updated vaccinations to help prevent some serious illnesses. But which ones are the most important to consider getting? Here is a list of some immunizations your traveling loved one should make sure are current, provided by the staff at Home Care Assistance Waterloo.

Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)

While many seniors may have received this vaccine as a child, cases of measles, mumps, and rubella are much more prevalent outside of North America. Receiving a booster of this immunization can help keep seniors healthy while they travel and prevent these three diseases that can be life threatening for those over the age of 60.

Tetanus

Most cases of tetanus, a bacterial disease that affects the nervous system and causes painful muscle contractions in the neck and face, happen in those who are over the age of 65. Since tetanus is more prevalent in less-developed countries, your loved one should get a booster before traveling if he or she hasn’t received one within the last 10 years.

Typhoid

Typhoid fever is common in Asia, Africa, and South America, with most cases occurring in South Asia. It is spread through contaminated water and food, so care should always be taken when traveling to consume safe food and water and practice proper hand washing. Symptoms can include high fever, stomach pain, weakness and headaches. A vaccine, available as a shot or taken orally, can help prevent typhoid fever. However, it won’t prevent 100 percent of cases, so other precautions should still be taken.

Polio

Unfortunately, polio is still prevalent in many African and Middle Eastern countries. Those who contract the virus can end up with gastrointestinal problems, become paralyzed, or experience difficulty breathing. Seniors who were vaccinated as children should receive one booster of the vaccine. If your loved one never received the immunization as a child, he or she will need to receive the entire series.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is found predominately in Africa and South America and is transmitted by mosquito bites. It can cause severe liver damage and febrile illness. A vaccine is available for those travelling to countries where they may be exposed to yellow fever. However, care should always be taken when around mosquitoes to avoid bites. Seniors who have compromised immune systems and are over the age of 60 may be advised by their doctor to not receive this vaccine because it contains a live virus.

Even if your loved one is able to travel safely and securely, he or she may still need some help taking care of daily tasks when at home. Sometimes, things like grooming, cooking, cleaning, and remembering to take medications can become a challenge, but a professional caregiver can help manage those tasks and much more. If your loved one needs part-time care in Waterloo, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our hourly care promotes senior independence, and all of our services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. For more information, call a Care Manager today at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.