Are Seniors Really More Susceptible to Pneumonia?

There may be numerous health conditions normally connected with aging adults, like cardiac disease and cancer, but pneumonia is also at the top of the list of life-threatening conditions. As a respiratory lung infection, it’s caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi and is the reason that over a million people in the U.S. are hospitalized annually. Many of these people are seniors over 65 years old. Are seniors more susceptible to pneumonia than other age groups?

Unfortunately, the body’s immune system weakens with age. Natural defenses become less reliable than in the younger years, leaving adults more susceptible to illnesses. When a patient is in a weakened state as they’re recovering from illness or surgery, it can be harder to cough to rid the lungs of infectious elements. Even the common cold can quickly lead to a lung infection. Other conditions, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), HIV, and heart disease adds an even greater challenge for quick recovery.

Pneumonia is a common occurrence, but it’s not part of aging. Reduce the risk of pneumonia by taking proactive measures. There’s no guarantee, but adults can take action to reduce their risk as much as possible each year. Here are some suggestions.

Reduce Pneumonia Risk

  • Get Vaccinated for Flu and Pneumonia: Since influenza can lead to pneumonia, consider a flu shot, as well as the pneumonia vaccination. Talk with your doctor about options.
  • Prioritize Hygiene: Washing hands well and often may make a big difference. Use sanitizer after touching surfaces like door handles and grocery cart handles. Don’t visit with relatives and friends who have a cold or flu.
  • Quit smoking: The entire body is impacted by smoking tobacco. People who smoke are at a higher risk for pneumonia, as well as other illnesses.
  • Eat Healthy and Exercise Often: Talk to your doctor for an approved diet to build the immune system and remember to exercise often.

 

Comfort Keepers® Can Help With Recovery from Pneumonia

Comfort Keepers® is there to help if you or an older loved one is recovering from pneumonia. Our compassionate caregivers can remind you or a loved one to take medication at the right time and can provide transport to medical appointments, too. Caregivers can even help with a doctor’s recommended exercise regimen.

Contact us today to ask about in-home services to care for you or your loved one.

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