Vaccines have become a very controversial topic, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) thousands of Americans needlessly die each year from vaccine-preventable illnesses like the flu and pneumonia. In addition to small children, those aged 65-and-above are placed at higher risk for contracting these common illnesses.

If you’re currently serving as a caregiver for an aging in place senior, convincing them to stay updated on their vaccines is important to help ensure their continued health and wellbeing.

Why Should Seniors Get Vaccinated?

The average elderly person is more susceptible to the flu or pneumonia because their immune system isn’t as strong as it used to be. Many seniors also suffer from malnutrition and dehydration, which can increase the severity of most common illnesses once they’re sick. Based on CDC figures, during an average year up to 56,000 Americans die from the flu, and an additional 19,000 from pneumococcal pneumonia. Sadly, many of those victims are seniors.

According to WebMD, here are some of the main reasons why seniors should get vaccinated:

They May No Longer be Protected

Some vaccines require a booster shot to remain effective, so if it’s been over 5 years since your loved one’s last pneumonia shot, for example, they probably need another one to refresh their immunity.

It Protects Others

If a senior is around young grandchildren or elderly friends, being vaccinated against an illness that’s contagious to others helps protect their loved ones too.

They Weren’t Fully Vaccinated as a Child

Not everyone gets fully vaccinated while growing up, an