When was your last tetanus shot? Don't kid yourself. Tetanus shots are not only for injury-prone kids. Adults need them, too. Almost everyone was immunized against tetanus as a child, but the vaccination does not last a lifetime. Not even close.
Tetanus, which is caused by a common bacteria, typically is found in soil and dust and enters the body through a puncture wound or severe cut. Tetanus — also known as lockjaw — affects seniors more than any other age group. Adults older than 50 account for two-thirds of all tetanus infections.
Tetanus, an unusual and tough-to-diagnose condition, is an acute and sometimes fatal disease affecting the central nervous system. Although it's fatal in just 10 to 20 percent of all cases, that percentage jumps dramatically in the senior population.
Early symptoms, which can take three days to three weeks to develop, include neck and jaw stiffness, muscular rigidity and difficulty in swallowing. In four out of five cases, however, the entire body is affected.
Adults should get a booster shot every 10 years because natural immunity is rare. As with most vaccines, these booster shots cause the body to respond to an inactivated type of toxin by developing needed antibodies.
For seniors, booster shots should first be discussed with your doctor, including questions about other vaccinations against age-related illness and diseases. The most important ones to adults older than 60 include shingles, influenza and pneumonia. If you can't remember when you last had these booster shots, now is the time to search your medical history or ask your primary-care physician.
Thursday: TOPS will meet at 8:30 a.m. Art class will meet at 10 a.m. Ambassador Singers will practice at 1 p.m.
Friday: Walking Group will meet at Lee Richardson Zoo at 8:30 a.m. Check-in for the Craft Shop is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. STEPS exercise class is at 10:30 a.m. St. Catherine Hospital will offer a health services nurse to do screenings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge is played at 1 p.m. Prairie Land Food deadline is at 4 p.m.
Saturday: The pool room will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. The building is rented.
Sunday: The building is rented.
Monday: Walking Group meets at Long Park at 8:30 a.m. STEPS exercise class is at 10:30 a.m. Rick Schaffer, SouthWest Kansas Area Agency on Aging, will speak at the meal site at 11:30 a.m. on "Medicare and You." Schaffer will be available for questions following his presentation. Humdinger Band will meet at 12:30 p.m. Bridge and double pinochle are played at 1 p.m. Hope Lehman will lead a cooking class, "Glory of Cooking," at 2 p.m. Finney County Transit Committee meets at 2 p.m. Upbeats will practice at 3 p.m. Duplicate bridge is played at 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Pitch is played at 12:45 p.m. Duplicate bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. Finney County Committee on Aging will meet at 3:30 p.m. Bridge is played at 7 p.m.
July 15: Line dancing is at 8:30 a.m. A para will be in the computer lab from 1 to 4 p.m. Pinochle is played at 1 p.m. The Sewing Group meets at 1 p.m. (bring your project and join other "sewers"). The Senior Citizens Association will host a dance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The band playing is "Calhouns." Bring finger food for the break.
Lunch is served at noon.
Thursday: Chuckwagon steak w/bun, potato wedge, cucumber and onion salad, pineapple.
Friday (Fresh Fruit Friday): Sausage and gravy, mashed potatoes, tomatoes, pears, biscuit.
Monday: Baked ham, cauliflower and peas, carrots, applesauce, whole wheat roll.
Tuesday: Salisbury steak w/onion, mashed potatoes w/brown gravy, spinach, bread pudding.
July 15: Spaghetti and meat sauce, tossed salad, beets, peaches, French bread.
Visit the Senior Center of Finney County Web site at www.seniorcenterfc.com.