GLEN COVE, NY – To help seniors stay healthy, Glen Cove Hospital and the Glen Cove Senior Center have teamed up to provide regular blood pressure screenings at the center. And, with the start of flu season nearing, they recently offered a day of free flu shots to area residents.
“Flu vaccination is especially important for people 65 years and older because they are at a high risk for complications for the flu,” said Kevin Reiter, MD, chief resident of Glen Cove Hospital’s Family Medicine Residency Program. “We are pleased to offer flu shots at the senior center at no charge to make getting a flu vaccine as convenient as possible. The flu shot helps you from getting it and spreading it to others.”
Phyllis Burnett, 65, an active member of the senior center and president of the Kiwanis Club in Glen Cove, said, “Getting the flu shot here is very helpful; there’s no charge and otherwise I’d get a bill at a local pharmacy,” adding, “I take care of my mother and I can’t get sick.”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s estimated that between 80 percent and 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older and between 50 and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalization have occurred among people in that age group.
James Lee, MD, a family medicine resident, said he and his colleagues have been giving blood pressure screenings at the senior center for several months. “Regular blood pressure checks are very important for older adults,” Dr. Lee said. “High blood pressure, for example, greatly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke and can’t be detected without being measured. We keep track of seniors’ blood pressure readings and encourage them to do the same.” Dr. Lee said the screenings give the senior center’s members “extra reassurance.” If a problem is detected, people are referred to their doctors or other healthcare providers for follow up.