Uncategorized | November 30, 2020
As seniors age, their bodies become more susceptible to various types of infections – including pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection that inflames one or both lungs and can range from mild to severe. Unfortunately, older adults are at a higher risk of developing pneumonia. To make matters worse, pneumonia in seniors typically ends with a fatal outcome.
To help your elderly loved one prevent or treat pneumonia, here is what you need to know about this illness:
Just like the rest of our body, the respiratory system undergoes certain changes as we age. Because of this, seniors sometimes cannot get rid of secretions in their lungs effectively, which end up in their bronchial tubes and cause an infection.
As the human immune system gets weaker with age, when seniors do develop this kind of infection, their body has a much harder time fighting it off than a younger person would. Then there are health issues that can further deteriorate one’s immunity in golden years – recent organ or bone marrow transplant, long-term steroid use, and chemotherapy.
Furthermore, certain chronic conditions associated with aging put seniors at a higher risk of developing pneumonia. This may include diabetes, Parkinson’s, asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (otherwise known as COPD), as well as bronchiectasis.
The most common signs of pneumonia include a strong cough, fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, coughed out green or yellow pus, and fatigue. If your loved one complains about any of these symptoms, have them consult with their physician immediately.
When a physician suspects pneumonia, a chest X-ray and/or blood test are typically conducted to determine the cause and nature of pneumonia. If it is bacterial, pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics. At times when the infection is viral, a doctor may prescribe an antiviral medicine. Other treatment options for pneumonia include fluids, oxygen, painkillers, and medical support.
Your aging loved one can significantly reduce the risk of contracting pneumonia by:
Whether your aging mom or dad is recovering from pneumonia or wants to prevent it, the trusted caregivers from Comfort Keepers are here to help. We can deliver a customized care plan and help with medication reminders, meal preparation, physician-prescribed exercises, errands, and shopping, and more. When needed, we can drive and accompany your parent to checkups and scheduled appointments too.
Contact our local office today at 778-402-2175 to learn more.