Seniors Need to Know About The Risks of Pneumonia

Numerous health conditions are connected with older adults. Cardiac disease and cancer usually top the list, but pneumonia is also a life-threatening condition that must be taken seriously. Pneumonia is a respiratory lung infection, and is initiated by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. More than a million people are hospitalized annually in the U.S. as a result of pneumonia, and many are seniors. Are seniors predisposed to pneumonia more than other age groups?

The problem is that the immune system weakens as we age and our natural defenses to colds, flu and infections become less reliable than when we are younger, making seniors more susceptible. If a senior patient is in a weakened state while recovering from illness or surgery, it’s even worse. It may be harder for him or her to cough and rid the lungs of infectious elements. At that point, even a common cold can quickly lead to a lung infection. Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), HIV, heart disease, and other conditions can make greater challenges for a quick recovery, too.

Pneumonia may be a common occurrence, but it’s not a predictable or normal part of aging. We can reduce the risk of pneumonia by being proactive. Of course, there’s no guarantee, but adults can certainly reduce their risk as much as possible. Here are some suggestions for maintaining better health this year.

Reduce Risk

  • Get Vaccinated: Influenza can lead to pneumonia, so talk with your doctor about a flu shot, as well as the pneumonia vaccination.
  • Practice Good Hygiene: Wash hands thoroughly and often. Keep sanitizer available for times you can’t avoid touching surfaces like door handles and grocery cart handles.
  • Stop smoking: Smokers at a higher risk for pneumonia, as well as other illnesses, so stop!
  • Build Immunity Through Diet: Talk to your physician about a diet to help strengthen the immune system.

 

Comfort Keepers® Can Help With Recovery from Pneumonia

Comfort Keepers® is there for you or an older loved one that may be recovering from pneumonia. Our trained caregivers can help clients remember to take medication in a timely manner and transport adults to appointments, too. Caregivers can even encourage an aging adult with the doctor’s recommended exercise regimen.

Call us today to ask about the many in-home services offered for you or your loved one.

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