3 Common Misconceptions about the Flu Vaccine

Posted on June 14th, 2018 by Paula Colaso under Blog

Older people are at a higher risk of the flu than the general population due to a decline in immune system function as one ages; emphasizing the importance of vaccination in healthy ageing.  However, common misconceptions towards vaccines have formed a major barrier to uptake rates.  A Portuguese study[1] uncovered three main misconceptions people hold towards the influenza vaccine, described below:

“I’m healthy, therefore I don’t need a vaccine”

Respondents felt they did not need a vaccine because they were healthy, ‘careful’ or rarely caught the flu.  This common misconception is false, as it is always important to be vaccinated, despite how healthy you may be.[2]  A seasonal influenza vaccine provides people with protection against the three most widespread flu strains of the season.

“I’m scared the vaccine will have negative effects”

The most frequent reasoning respondents gave for not taking the flu shot was that the side effects of the flu vaccination were worse than the flu itself.  This common misconception is false. Reactions to vaccines are typically minor – such as a slight fever or a sore arm.[3]

“I can’t catch the flu”

Even high-risk individuals (such as those with a chronic condition) believed that the flu was not serious, especially compared to the chronic condition they were dealing with. This is false.  In fact, these respondents are especially at risk for influenza due to their chronic condition.  Influenza is a disease that should be taken seriously, as it kills around 290 000 to 650 000 people annually.  The influenza vaccine is the best way to prevent influenza and exposing it to others.[4]

The 14th Global Conference’s theme ‘Toward Healthy Ageing’ will feature current research on the importance of vaccination in older people and at-risk groups, and how stakeholders can address the barriers preventing populations from getting vaccinated.  To learn more about the IFA Global Conference please visit www.IFA2018.com.

[1]Santos, A.J., Kislaya, I., Machado, A. and Nunes, B., 2017. Beliefs and attitudes towards the influenza vaccine in high-risk individuals. Epidemiology & Infection145(9), pp.1786-1796.

[2] Bustreo, F., 2017. Embrace the facts about vaccines, not the myths. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/en/news-room/commentaries/detail/embrace-the-facts-about-vaccines-not-the-myths

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Oct. 2017, www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/general.htm

[4] World Health Organization, 2018. Influenza (Seasonal). http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal)

Succession Planting for Career Longevity

Posted on June 6th, 2018 by Paula Colaso under Blog

Submitted by: Peggy Salvatore

Author of a new book, Retaining Expert Knowledge: What to Keep in an Age of Information Overload by C&C Press. You can read more of Peggy’s work at www.workingwithsmes.com 


As a newbie gardener, I subscribe to lots of gardening magazines and email lists to get up the learning curve as quickly as possible. This morning, I received an email about succession planting for a bountiful garden all season long. For those who have been cultivating a lifetime of knowledge, we also have waves of harvests. And it seems that the rules for succession planting in our gardens also make sense for succession planning for our lifetimes of contribution to the world around us.

Growing meals throughout the season means consistently looking forward, and reaping harvests from your education and experience means looking forward, too.

Let’s apply the 6 tips for choosing appropriate crops for succession planting to succession planning for your ongoing contribution to the world:

  1. Rotate plants in season. After you have harvested the value of your education and experience in one career, use that bed of knowledge to prepare for your next adventure – be it volunteerism, consulting or starting an enterprise of your own. Your prior experience will help lessen the chance for failure.
  2. Sow or transplant a small amount of seeds at one time at regular intervals. Make sure you have several little projects and interests in play for a well-rounded life. Your new business doesn’t mean giving up your volunteering. One thing may always lead to another.
  3. When planting late in the season, choose plants that can be enjoyed young. When you embark on an adventure completely new to you, choose one that you can enjoy immediately, like learning a few chords on the piano that allow you to play a simple three-chord song for immediate gratification.
  4. Switch varieties for switching weather. As your life changes, or as your mind, body and emotions change, be prepared to try a new hobby, interest or career path more in tune with who you are becoming.
  5. Consider how two plants share a space and interplant complimentary varieties. Think about the people around you, how you can build teams and community, and how you can serve others. Life is more fun lived with and for others.
  6. Transplant and sow directly. Sometimes you want to take skills and abilities from other parts of your life and earlier career paths, and use them in your current pursuits. Some other things can be started from scratch so you can always be learning something new.

Life is, indeed, our garden to nourish, grow and enjoy. With some care, you can reap harvests throughout all its seasons as you continue to mature, contribute and participate while sharing your unique gifts, talents and experiences to leave everything better than the way you found it.

Webinar Series on Older LGBTQ2 People – Family, Supporters and Caregiving: An Older LGBTQ2 Person’s Perspective

Posted on May 29th, 2018 by Paula Colaso under Blog

“Family, Supporters and Caregiving: An Older LGBTQ2 Person’s Perspective” was the latest webinar in a series created to address the inequalities of older LGBTQ2 people around the world.

Moderated by Réseau FADOQ’s Executive Director, Mr Danis Prud’homme and with presentations by Professor Line Chamberland (Research Chair on Homophobia, Université du Québec à Montréal) and Professor Marie Beaulieu (Co-Director, WHO Collaborative Centre, Elder Abuse and Chairholder, Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults) as panelists.

The purpose of the webinar was to discuss the fundamental importance of social networks, the conditions that impact family networks and how these relationships impact access to care.  Additionally, this webinar was presented in French.

The IFA appreciates the participation of all those interested and working towards improving the health and well-being of older LGBTQ2 people around the world.

If you have any additional questions or want to learn more about the webinar series on older LGBTQ2 people, please contact Ms. Hannah Girdler.

Webinar Materials

Click here to access the recording of this webinar.

Click here to access the presentation slide deck.

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