August is National Immunization Awareness month. Each year seniors in the U.S. fall ill from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. Getting vaccinated is a way for seniors to protect themselves from these diseases. Recommended vaccines are especially important for seniors with chronic conditions, who are more likely to develop complications from infectious diseases.

Vaccines are an important step in protecting everyone against serious diseases. When vaccinated at a younger age, the protection from some vaccines can lessen over time. In other cases, the viruses or bacteria that vaccines protect against have evolved, and resistance is not as strong. Finally, as you get older, you may be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases because of your age, health conditions, and lifestyle.

It is recommended that seniors get the following vaccines:

  • Influenza (flu) vaccine every year to protect against seasonal flu.

  • Other vaccines you need as an adult are determined by factors such as age, health conditions, and lifestyle and vaccines you have had in the past. Vaccines you need may include those that protect against: shingles, human papillomavirus, pneumococcal disease, meningococcal disease, hepatitis A and hepatitis B, chickenpox (varicella), measles, mumps, and rubella.

O’Neill Healthcare offers the influenza vaccine to each resident every year in addition to pneumococcal vaccinations upon admission which are recommended for anyone over the age of 65 living in a nursing facility.

Information about the Consultant Pharmacist at O’Neill Healthcare:

Janelle Massaro, RPh. has worked in senior care for 7 years. She is a consultant pharmacist with Remedi Senior Care Pharmacy. They provide medications and consulting services for assisted living, long term care, and skilled nursing facilities. Janelle graduated from the University of Toledo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2009. She started her career with Walgreens in Kentucky then transferred to Ohio which is where she was introduced to long term care pharmacy. Janelle was born and raised in Euclid, Ohio. She is married to her husband, Ben, and they reside in Lakewood with their two children Samina, 4, and Julius, 2. They enjoy an active lifestyle by traveling, running, and experimenting with triathlons. Janelle prides herself on maintaining personal and professional relationships with her nursing and administrative personnel at her facilities. She attends meetings with O’Neill Healthcare leadership and community medical professionals focusing on improving our pharmaceutical practices.

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