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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vaccinations...not just for kids

 Most people think that vaccinations are just for kids, but adults, especially seniors, need their shots too. Here's a breakdown of what vaccines the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for adults age 50 and older, and how they're covered by Medicare.   
Influenza (flu): While you already know that seasonal flu shots are recommended to everyone age 50 and older, you may not know that seniors over 65 now have the option of getting a new high-potency flu vaccine instead of a regular flu shot.  All annual flu shots are covered under Medicare Part B.

Pneumococcal: Pneumonia causes more than 40,000 deaths in the US each year, many of which could be prevented by the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. Everyone age 65 or older needs to get this one-time vaccination, as well as those under 65 who smoke or have chronic health conditions like asthma, lung and heart disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system. This vaccination also is covered under Medicare Part B.

Zoster (shingles): Recommended for everyone age 60 and older, shingles is a painful, blistering skin rash that affects more than 1 million Americans each year. All Medicare Part D prescription drug plans cover this one-time vaccination, but coverage amounts and reimbursement rules vary depending on where the shot is given. Be sure you check your plan. If you aren't covered you can expect to pay between $150 and $250.

TDP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) A one-time dose of the Tdap vaccine, which covers tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) is now recommended to all adults. If you've already had a Tdap shot, you should return to getting a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) booster shot every 10 years. Most private health and Medicare Part D plans cover these vaccinations, but if you have to pay, they cost between $20 and $100.

Talk to your doctor during your next visit about what vaccinations you should get.

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