Uncategorized | January 27, 2020
Due to their weaker immune systems, seniors are more prone to infections, such as pneumonia. This condition is caused by fungi, bacteria or viruses that manage to enter the lungs and trigger inflammation. Pneumonia can affect one or both lungs and it can be mild as well as severe. In some cases, pneumonia can lead to death.
Changes to the lungs as we age. Older adults are often not able to get rid of the secretions from their lungs. These discharges eventually go down into bronchial tubes and cause the infection.
Weakened immune systems. Seniors, especially those who received chemotherapy, had an organ transplant or have been using certain medications for a long period of time, have weak immune systems and therefore are prone to infections.
Senior health conditions. Some conditions can increase the likelihood of infections. Seniors with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, HIV, cystic fibrosis, asthma, and COPD are more likely to get pneumonia.
Seniors who have pneumonia will show symptoms such as coughing, fever, chills, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue.
To see whether a senior has pneumonia, a doctor will do a chest X-ray and blood test. Those who are diagnosed with this condition will receive medications, as well as fluids, oxygen, and pain killers.
There are several ways seniors can maintain their health and avoid pneumonia. To reduce the risk of infection older adults should discuss their options with their doctor and determine the best plan.
Get vaccinated. Aside from getting their annual flu shot, seniors should also receive a pneumococcal vaccine that protects against pneumonia bacteria.
Take steps to quit smoking. Smokers are more prone to pneumonia. Smoking can significantly weaken lung defense mechanisms so taking steps to quit this habit is necessary.
Practice a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet and a physician-approved exercise routine can improve senior’s health and reduce the risk of infection.
Regardless of whether your loved one is recovering from pneumonia or simply wants to protect themselves, we can help. Comfort Keepers have been providing home care to seniors across the country for over two decades. Our trained caregivers can help your loved one follow a prescribed diet, remind them to take their medications, support their exercise regimens, and provide transportation to the doctor’s office. With our support and assistance, your parent can find joy in each day and lead a happy and active life.
To learn more about home care services, contact us today.