August is National Immunization Awareness Month!

August has come upon us so quickly and the summer season is going way too fast! With that in mind, it’s time to look ahead and be reminded that flu season is only a few months away. The month of August is National Immunization Awareness Month, an opportunity to emphasize the value of immunization throughout one’s lifespan. Vaccines protect us from serious and sometimes deadly diseases. Caregivers and their clients are encouraged to get an influenza (flu) vaccine each year. Other types of vaccines recommended, depending on age and health considerations, include shingles, pneumococcal, and hepatitis. A consultation with your primary care physician will help you to decide what is right for you.
It is also imperative that one is proactive in boosting the immune system on a regular basis. Some strategies for healthy living are:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low in saturated fats
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthful weight
  • Keep blood pressure under control
  • If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation
  • Be sure to get adequate sleep
  • Avoid infection by washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly
  • Be diligent about medical screenings

The aging process tends to lead to a reduction in immunity, so a visit to a physician who specializes in geriatric care is crucial. It is highly recommended to take daily multivitamins and mineral supplements. Be sure your supplementation includes vitamins A, B2, B6, C, D, E, zinc, and selenium. Garlic, ginseng, licorice root, and probiotics may prove helpful, as well as controlling your stress level. It has also been found that being isolated can adversely affect the immune system. So, don’t hesitate to be social!