What should you know about older people's health?

There is a growing number of health services devoted to looking after older people who have a range of health conditions. This is a result of the national population becoming older, and as people get older they tend to experience a growing number of health conditions. This is a natural part of ageing.

You may become ill or injured more easily and more often and you'll also notice that it takes longer to recover from both.

Certain conditions are more prevalent among the older generation. Some of these (i.e. cancer) might be a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices which were more prevalent when the current older generation was younger (smoking), while others may simply be associated with getting older (i.e. dementia).

Infirmity is also an issue for many people, whether a general loss of balance or a weakening or muscles and/or bones.

Many people are able to enjoy a happy old age by living a healthy lifestyle and learning to manage their health.

Who should have the flu jab

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to ensure they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.

You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you: 

  • are 65 years of age or over   
  • are pregnant 
  • have certain medical conditions 
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility 
  • receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill 
  • Front-line health and social care workers directly involved in patient care.

For more info click on http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/flu-influenza-vaccine.aspx

Who should have the pneumococcal vaccine?

A pneumococcal infection can affect anyone. However, some people are at higher risk of serious illness and can be given the pneumococcal vaccination on the NHS. These include:

  • babies (included in the routine injections)
  • adults aged 65 or over (a single one-off vaccination, not needed annually)
  • children and adults with certain long-term health conditions, such as a serious heart or kidney condition (a single one-off vaccination or five-yearly vaccination depending on the health problem)

For more info click here.

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