Not just for kids: Why We Need to Protect Grandparents this Flu Season

How to improve relationships with inlaws

This content was sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur. As always, opinions are my own.

For many of us, our grandparents trigger vivid memories for us, and we all remember hearing about or doing things with our nani, nanu, dadi or dadu, that were just our moments. Not our parents, not our cousins’ but our special moments. As masalamommas, many of us want to give those memories to our own kids and ensure they have great memories with our parents.

While most of us want to make sure our kids stay healthy and don’t infect grandparents or other family members with the flu or other illnesses, what’s important to know is that seniors are at higher risk of complications and hospitalizations when it comes to the flu, which could lead to a loss of their own independence. In Canada, influenza contributes to an average of 12,200 hospitalizations and an average of 3,500 deaths each year.

For our family, we encourage both sets of grandparents on both my side and my husband’s to plan ahead to get their flu shot early.

Our nani and dadu do pickups from time to time from school and we often get together and do things together as we all live close to each other. When one of them falls ill it affects all of us: we worry about them being in seclusion from other family members (a safety precaution of course), from their friends and from their grandkids. It can take a lot longer when you have the flu to recover as someone in their 40s  or 50s, but seniors can have an even longer recovery time.

It’s not just kids that need to be protected, seniors do too.

My parents both travel quite a lot, my dad for business and my mom for pleasure. They also both travel with us on family vacations at least once a year so knowing that they have the immunity to fight the flu is really important to us. We all know that planes and just travelling, in general, can be a time for getting sick and it’s the one time you don’t want to be battling an illness—with your own doctor and medical care so far away. Accessing medical care in different countries can be such a pain!

When my mom had the flu a few years ago, I was there almost every other day checking in on her and also had to keep my kids away for fear that they could get the flu. It was hard to see my mom down for almost a month without visitors she would normally have and not being able to engage in her work and social activities. It got her down and she felt isolated, who wouldn’t? We know that seniors’ loss of independence and ability to care for themselves after the flu has immeasurable repercussions for their families and the community – making it even more important that we take steps to ensure our senior loved ones stay healthy, active and protected this flu season.

 Tip: If you’re already going to get your children’s flu shots, why not book your parents’ vaccines too?

National Seniors Day

 

In celebration of National Seniors Day on October 1, Sanofi Pasteur hosted an event in Toronto last week to recognize seniors and their contributions to our families and communities, while raising awareness of the importance of protecting them during the upcoming flu season.

The event showcased a larger-than-life interactive photo exhibit featuring photos of seniors from across the country. There were some wonderful images submitted, and we were fortunate enough to see the official opening of the exhibit by the Minister of Health herself. Stay tuned for more photos from the event!

 


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