Boomers are Skipping Needed Vaccinations
(Two-thirds of 65-plus haven’t had shingles show, feds say)
Americans over age 60 are often not getting needed immunizations, and that is creating a growing risk to the health care system, say federal disease-prevention experts.
About two-thirds of those who are 65 and older have never had the shingles vaccine, and more than 4 in 10 haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As for the pneumococcal vaccine, nearly a third of older people haven’t had this immunization.
Older Americans do better about getting flu shots. But nearly 1 in 3 between ages 65 and 74 skipped the shot during the last flu season.
The data is worrisome because older adults are at increased risk of complications that can be prevented by vaccines, the CDC says.
And, adults age 65-plus who skip immunizations drive up health care costs when they get sick—to the tune of $4.8 billion a year, according to researchers’ estimates.
Most people should get a flu shot annually, get a tetanus booster every 10 years and keep their pneumococcal and shingles vaccines current, say federal health officicals and leading medical experts.
The most neglected inoculation, the singles vaccine, reduces the risk of getting a viral disease that can cause skin to become painful and blistered, plus fever, headache, fatigue and sensitivity to light, according to the Mayo Clinic website. The vaccine is recommended for adults 60 and older. That includes those who have already had shingles.
(As printed in the AARP Bulletin, September 2017)
Active Senior Living For Active Seniors
You now have the time to do what you always wanted to do. What was that again? Hiking the Appalachian Trail? Volunteering at the Humane Society? Working part-time at a ski resort? Mentoring a child?
Active Living Options
First things first: if you’re healthy and active, you may just choose to live in the home you retired in—until it becomes more than you want or are able to handle. It’s a tough decision to leave the home you raised your family in, the neighborhood you’re used to and familiar with.
But maybe your home is just too big and requires too much upkeep. Or maybe you’d rather live with other active seniors. Maybe you just want a change. If so, you have plenty of options.
Independent living communities are designed for the active and healthy senior who is able to live on their own. You can live in a home, condo, townhouse, apartment complex, motor home or mobile home.
They are the same as a traditional neighborhood but with age restrictions—usually 55 and older. And they provide amenities like clubhouses, gyms, yard maintenance, housekeeping and security. Most communities also typically offer transportation, laundry service, group meals, and social and cultural activities.
Before we look at what kind of community is right for you, let’s look at some senior statistics.
Seniors by the Numbers
In a 2010 report by The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics called “Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being,” we found the following statistics that may interest you:
- People who reach age 65 will live another 18.5 years v. just 4 years longer in 1960.
- From 2006 to 2008, 74.5% of those 65 and older reported being in good to excellent health.
- About 22% of seniors reported regular physical activity.
- Seniors 65 to 74 report doing 7 hours of daily leisure activities; watching TV account for 4 hours.
- The housing burden cost for seniors increased from 30% to 37% between 1985 and 2007.
- Forty percent of seniors in 2007 had one or more of the following housing issues: “housing cost burden, physically inadequate housing, and/or crowded housing.”
- What’s Right for Me?
This is a big question for many seniors and worth careful consideration. The answer may take weeks, months and even years of thought. To start, take an inventory of your life now that you’re retired. Here are some basic questions to ask:
- Are you happy in your home and neighborhood? Do you dread doing yard work in the summer heat? Are the four bedrooms too much to clean? Do you live close enough to family? Do your friends still live near you? Would you rather live close to the water, mountains, in the country or in a city?
- Financially, are you secure in your present home? Or do you need to downsize? Are property taxes too much?
- Would you rather live with other active seniors? Or do you enjoy living in a mixed-age neighborhood?
These are just a few of the challenges one must think about before making a move into any kind of housing for the future.
Stay tuned for the next blog to get other information on Bailey Park and how to make the best possible decision for your life…….