Seniors (Adults 65 Years and Older) and the Flu


Seniors at a birthday partyFor older adults, the seasonal flu can be very serious, even deadly. Each year in the U.S., deaths from flu-related causes range from 3,300 to 48,600 (average of 23,600), and more than 200,000 are hospitalized from serious flu complications. Ninety percent of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 and older.


Actions To Take This Flu Season

1. Get Your Flu Shot

Getting vaccinated means not only protecting yourself, but not spreading the flu to your spouse, children, or grandchildren. CDC recommends getting the vaccine as soon as it becomes available in your community because it takes the body about two weeks to build up immunity. The immunity will last throughout the entire flu season.

You should get vaccinated this year even if you got a 2009 H1N1 or a seasonal vaccine last year because the vaccine viruses have been updated. Immunity sets in about two weeks after vaccination.

This season, people 65 years and older will have two flu shots available to choose from - a regular dose flu vaccine and a new flu vaccine designed specifically for people 65 and older with a higher dose. This should result in a stronger immune response. Both vaccines will protect against the same three flu viruses. Talk to your doctor or nurse about the best option for you.

If you have Medicare Part B, health insurance, there is no cost to you for the flu shot if the doctor accepts assignment for giving the shot.

The flu vaccine is safe and effective, and because the influenza viruses in the flu shot are inactive, you can't get influenza from the vaccine.

2. Take Everyday Preventive Actions

Stay healthy by practicing these healthy habits

  • Avoid people who are sick with the flu
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands often
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Get plenty of sleep, stay physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food

3. Seek Medical Advice Quickly if You Develop Flu Symptoms

You might need medical evaluation or treatement with antiviral drugs.

It’s very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat flu in people 

  • who are very sick with flu (for example, people who are in the hospital)
  • who are sick with flu and have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications, like people 65 and older

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Why should seniors get the flu shot?

As we age, our immune system is weakened, making us more susceptible to the flu.

Click here to locate a seasonal flu clinic near you

Big Changes to Alameda Health Care!

There are big changes coming to health care in Alameda! After a board vote on Monday, the Alameda Hospital District has voted to proceed with taking over the management of Waters Edge Skilled Nursing Facility at Park Street.

The official press release is below:

ALAMEDA, Calif., October 11, 2011 — Following the District Board Meeting held on October 10, 2011, the City of Alameda Health Care District announces the approval of a resolution that would allow Alameda Hospital to pursue the expansion of its current capacity to provide long term care to the community by subletting and operating the 120-bed Waters Edge Skilled Nursing Facility under the hospital’s license.  Waters Edge Skilled Nursing Facility is a 5-star facility (top ten percent in the country) in the federal government’s nursing home rating system, located at 2401 Blanding Avenue. 

As health care reform changes the health care landscape in our community and neighboring areas, the demand for high quality, post-acute care services will increase.  Many providers in the East Bay are exiting long term care, allowing an opportunity for Alameda Hospital to contract with other area providers to meet this need.  Since 1971, the Zimmerman family has successfully owned and operated Waters Edge Skilled Nursing Facility, a component of Alameda Elder Communities, providing high quality care to its residents.  Alameda Elder Communities has recently embarked on the development of a senior network and co-housing project, and with Alameda Hospital, is excited about this opportunity to enhance the continuum of care for Alameda’s growing senior population.  The Zimmerman Family will continue to own and operate Alameda Elder Communities’ two assisted living facilities, Waters Edge Lodge and Elders Inn, as well as Alameda Elder Services, a Medicare approved rehabilitation agency.

Alameda Hospital and the Zimmerman Family are committed to maintaining the long tradition of high quality care provided to the residents of Waters Edge Skilled Nursing Facility and have a unified vision for enhancing the continuum of care for seniors in Alameda.   This joint effort will provide an opportunity for Alameda Hospital to establish an ongoing relationship with Alameda Elder Communities as other senior services and projects develop.   Financially, this service expansion will provide Alameda Hospital an increase in revenue that will result in a positive bottom line for the District.

Special meetings will be held for Waters Edge Skilled Nursing Facility employees, residents and their families with Alameda Hospital management to discuss the transition and to answer any questions they may have.   Current employees of Waters Edge Skilled Nursing Facility have provided quality care for many years and will have the opportunity to continue to do so.  Alameda Hospital looks forward to working with the staff and health care providers who have cared for Waters Edge patients over the years.

A date will be announced in the near future regarding a public informational session regarding the transaction.

Alameda Hospital and the Zimmerman family are excited about this opportunity and are committed to continuing the tradition of high quality and compassionate care for seniors in Alameda.



The article in the Alameda Journal is here.


Aging in Place Successfully Course Begins Again!

You asked, we answered. The next installment of the Aging in Place Successfully Course begins on Tuesday, October 18th! This session will run Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3pm to 5pm, beginning 10/18 and ending 11/17/11. Once again, Alameda Elder Communities has graciously offered to donate class space to us, and we will be meeting at the Waters Edge Lodge on Harbor Bay.

Space is limited, only 3 seats remain! If you are interested in joining this session of the course please call Cheryl at 510-217-8527.


Gems of Wisdom - A Book of Poetry and Prose

Gems of Wisdom - A Book of Elder Poetry and Prose - This book has been made possible by the Elders of California who submitted writing reflecting on their life experiences. You will be delighted and humbled by the wisdom shared. Look forward to Readings and Book Signings at Barnes and Noble.

Located at: 5604 Bay Street, Emeryville

Time: 5-6:30p on October 4th, 2011



New Aging in Place Class Coming Soon!

A new session of the Aging in Place Successfully class is in the planning stages now! We are hoping to begin the next session in the first weeks of October. Please complete the class interest form under education to place your vote for the most convenient days and/or times for you to join the next session!