If you are in a retirement living community or over the age of 65, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend you get vaccinated for the seasonal flu. Getting vaccinated for the H1N1 virus could be a good idea as well.
There are other measures older persons can take to protect themselves from getting sick this flu season, including hand washing and avoiding people who are ill.
Visiting the doctor as soon as flu symptoms appear could mean getting antiviral drugs that might prevent the sicknesses from getting worse. Prescribing these to seniors is one of the CDC's priorities.
The U.S. government bought 250 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine, so people who want to protect themselves will have the chance to do so. However, elderly men and women should know that they are at a higher risk of experiencing complications as a result of antiviral drugs.
Seniors should also know that they are the group that will least likely catch the H1N1, so the decision to get vaccinated should be considered carefully. Lab tests suggest that some elderly people have some pre-existing immunity to this year's H1N1.