Cooler nights and shorter days mean flu season is not far away, and getting a flu shot is the very best way to stay healthy this winter.
Getting a flu shot isn’t just about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting those around you, including older adults for whom the flu can be serious and even deadly. Statistics show that during recent flu seasons, between 80% and 90% of flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older.
That’s why Home Helpers caregivers are encouraged to take advantage of the company’s flu shot program each September. It’s an important way to protect both the caregivers and their clients.
The flu vaccine isn’t one-size-fits-all. The Centers for Disease Control list several different types of shots, all of which are intended to protect people from what are predicted to be the most prevalent viruses this season.
Children 6 months and older, as well as adults 18 to 64 should receive the three-strain or four-strain immunization. As the name suggests, the three-strain version protects against three types of flu virus, while the four-strain protects against four. Older adults are encouraged to receive a high-dose shot to better equip them to fight the illness. New this flu season is the high-dose shot with adjuvant, an ingredient that helps to create a stronger immune response.
Those who prefer the nasal spray to an injection will have to be brave this year. The CDC determined that the spray is not effective against this year’s strains of flu.
It might hurt a little less to know that vaccines are covered by Medicare and most insurance policies, and several pharmacies are offering incentives for getting the flu shot that go beyond one’s own health.
Michael Doepke, Owner
123 East Ogden Avenue, Suite 102A
Hinsdale, IL 60521
Death is as unique as the individual who is experiencing it. At the end of life, individuals and their loved ones are often faced with tough decisions. Jeff Long has a diverse background and has been present at over 300 deaths which helps him provide emotional, spiritual, or practical support – or all the above to the dying individual and his or her family members. It can be traumatic and confusing for family members who are taking care of their dying loved one. Jeff will start working with individuals and their families when there is less than 18 months to live. These services are supplemental to hospice or when individuals do not qualify for hospice. Jeff guides family members through the dying process by telling them what they can expect and acting as an advocate for them and the dying with representatives of the hospital, funeral homes, and other personnel who may be involved in the death process. Jeff assists the dying individuals and their families to have the talks that need to be had and finds out what the dying individual wants. For example, do they have a will, power of attorney healthcare and property, and living will. He guides the dying to express what type of funeral they want: burial or cremation; visitation or no visitation. Jeff offers comfort, support, and companionship. Contact Jeff to learn how he can be of help to you and your loved one. You can contact Jeff at 630-418-1413 or visit http://life-decisions.com/end-of-life-doula/.
Rev. Jeffrey Long, M.Div., C.P.C.
Certified Life Coach | Consultant | Chaplain
Empowering Life Decisions, LLC
Midwest Chaplain Services
920 Curtiss St. #827
Downers Grove, IL 60515
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Feeling better as you age could be as simple as singing in a choir. A 2001 study set out to measure the impact of community-based cultural programs, such as community choir, on the well-being of older adults. The results were nothing less than striking.
Conducted by the late Gene Cohen, the Center on Aging Health and Humanities, George Washington University, and Jeanne Kelly, director of the Levine School of Music, the study concluded that those who participated in such groups had fewer falls, less depression, felt less lonely than non-participants and were generally more active overall than those who did not participate.
“It’s really good for you,” summarized Sandy Siegel Miller, president and co-founder of Encore Illinois – a network of community choruses designed specifically for older adults throughout Chicago and its suburbs. Miller and her husband, Jonathan, started six Chicago-area chorales in early 2016, one of which rehearses and performs at The Community House in Hinsdale.
Rehearsals for all six Encore Chorales are held during the day, eliminating the need for uneasy senior drivers to travel after dark. There are no auditions, and no musical background is needed.
“Some of our members have sung their entire lives. Others tell us they haven’t sung since 7th grade,” Miller said. The focus isn’t on the performance, she said, but on each singer’s experience.
The largely secular repertoire of the chorales spans many genres. That variety means there’s something to appeal to every musical taste and a challenge for every singer.
Hinsdale rehearsals are held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. every Thursday morning beginning Sept. 15. New members are welcome to attend a rehearsal for free before deciding whether to register, and those who can’t attend the first rehearsal will be welcomed through the end of September. Rehearsals will culminate Dec. 27 with a free evening concert.
Cost for the 15-week program is $175, which includes music and a rehearsal CD.
Miller said adults 55 and older are welcome. Last year’s choruses included members in their late 90s, proving that you’re never too old to participate, even if you’ve never been part of a choir before.
To register, visit encoreillinois.com, contact The Community House at thecommunityhouse.org, or call Miller at (630) 441-5157.