Is Pneumonia Deadly for Aging Adults?

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Pneumonia is a dangerous infection that causes inflammation in the lungs. Many seniors are unlikely to notice they have pneumonia, allowing the illness to worsen and causing severe consequences. Below you’ll find more information about pneumonia, including whether it can kill older adults and what can be done to prevent this type of infection.

Fatalities

Pneumonia is a serious condition that can be fatal for seniors. Aging immune systems are weaker than those of younger adults and can’t fight as vigorously against infections and other health problems. The inability to fight off germs could be life-threatening, especially as the air sacs in the lungs remain inflamed and filled with fluid and pus. However, proper treatment and excellent hygiene can increase the odds of recovery.

Treatment

Successful treatment plans can lower the risk of hospital admission and speed up recovery. Antibiotics such as penicillin are typically prescribed to treat pneumonia in older adults. Depending on the severity of the illness, some seniors may require oral rehydration therapy and IV liquids to recover from the inflammation in their lungs. In addition to taking antibiotics, seniors need to consume plenty of fluids, especially if they’ve been diagnosed with viral pneumonia. Seniors need to take all their medicine even if they’re feeling better. Failing to take medication in its entirety allows bacteria to linger and increases the risk of a recurrence.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elderly home care. Coral Gables Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

Hygiene

Seniors must wash their hands every time they use the restroom, handle foods and objects that contain bacteria, or come inside after being outdoors. You should also wash your loved one’s clothing, cabinets, and kitchen and bathroom surfaces regularly. Washing away the bacteria reduces the risk of dangerous germs spreading. Your loved one should wash his or her hands more frequently than usual during the colder months due to the increased incidence of colds and flu. To prevent germs from spreading and lower the risk of developing pneumonia, each time your parent coughs, he or she should cover his or her face with a tissue instead of using his or her hands or sleeve.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations provide one of the best ways to prevent pneumonia. Your loved one’s primary care physician can recommend vaccinations based on your loved one’s physical and mental wellbeing. Most doctors suggest flu vaccinations because the flu virus is one of the top causes of pneumonia. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time around your loved one, you and your children should be vaccinated as well so you don’t spread viruses and germs to your parent.

The best way to treat pneumonia is to prevent it, especially in seniors. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Coral Gables, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 1 (305) 964-5636.