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Elderly Care Observances: Keeping Yourself and Your Parents Healthy during World Immunization Week 

Elderly Care in Mesa AZ

Getting your children immunized is likely something you started thinking about even before they were born. You thought about the immunizations they would get at birth and the others they would get throughout their childhood. Vaccinations are one of the greatest medical advances in history, saving Elderly Care in Mesa AZcountless lives and protecting even more from the devastating consequences of many diseases. For many people, however, the concept of getting immunized is something they relegate only to childhood, thinking that once they are adults there is no need to continue getting vaccinations because they are already fully protected.

The last week of April is World Immunization Week. This is your chance to learn more about immunization and how it should be a part of your lifelong efforts for health. Making immunization part of your elderly care plan is a simple way to protect your aging parents so they can live a healthier, stronger quality of life.

Immunizations recommended for seniors over the age of 65 include:

• Chickenpox

• Shingles

• Flu

• Tetanus

• Pertussis (also known as whooping cough)

• Pneumococcal

• Diphtheria


Some elderly adults live with certain medical concerns or face lifestyle choices that put them at particular risk for other diseases. These higher risk seniors should get further immunizations, including:


• Hepatitis A

• Hepatitis B

• Meningitis

No matter how important immunizations are for health, most people are not eager to head to the doctor and actually get shots. As with children, you might need to use some special tactics to make the process of getting their vaccinations easier for your elderly parents so they are less resistant during the first round and subsequent shots.

Try some of these approaches to ease the anxiety and make immunization appointments go more smoothly:

• Use diversion. Distracting your parents during the vaccination can reduce the anxiety and fear that make the shot much more difficult. Try talking to your parents, asking them questions, or playing an interesting video on your tablet or phone so your parents focus on that rather than the impending shot.

• Bring sweets. Research shows that sweet flavors reduce the perception of pain signals. Just a few drops of a sugar solution during the shot ensures your parents feel less pain. Bring along a vial and eye dropper with glucose solution, lollipop, or small pieces of chocolate.

• Numb the skin. Using a skin-numbing cream blocks the pain signals from your skin, keeping them from getting to your brain. Purchase an over-the-counter skin numbing cream and apply it one hour before the immunization appointment. You can also ask about a skin numbing cream at the doctor’s office before the appointment so you can pick it up at the office and apply it.

• Prepare for side effects. Side effects such as soreness in the arm, a low grade fever, headache, fatigue, and diarrhea can happen after certain immunizations. Prepare for these side effects by planning a relaxing day after the immunizations and having over-the-counter medications on hand to ease the symptoms.

If your elderly parents or you have not gotten immunizations recently, make an appointment with your health care provider to discuss your need for vaccinations and find out which ones are right for your needs. The doctor can help you come up with a schedule for getting up-to-date on your immunizations and ensure you get these shots as part of your care routine into the future.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care services in Mesa, AZ, please contact the caring staff at About You Home Care (480) 351-4473. Servicing Phoenix and the surrounding communities.

Debbie McLay

Founder and CEO at About You Home Care
Debbie McLay has had a ten year career working as a Behavioral Health Technician providing Direct Care to youth and adults with behavioral challenges, including substance abuse, eating disorders, domestic violence, and mental illness. For her exceptional work in this area Debbie was nominated for Subcontractor Employee of the Year by Value Options, an organization contracted to manage the mental health system in Maricopa County, and her client was nominated for the Most Successful Client of the Year. Debbie’s entrepreneurial endeavors began twelve years ago when she owned a successful retail business in a busy mall.

Debbie experienced firsthand in her own family the challenges that caregiver’s endure when caring for an aging loved one and saw a need for providers who adhere to a higher standard with exceptional service and individualized care that she herself provided in her behavioral health career. Debbie combined her background in healthcare with her entrepreneurial experience and founded About You Home Care with a vision of serving others who were faced with the struggles that her family had experienced. She’s also a strong believer in community service and does volunteer work for Duet, a nonprofit organization that provides aid for older adults and their families that face the difficult challenges associated with aging. Debbie has been on the fundraising event Steering Committee since 2011 and served as the event chair for two of those years.

Debbie did her Undergraduate studies in Psychology and Behavioral Science with Honors and pursued additional education in Chemical Dependency Counseling.