Seniors are more susceptible to contracting pneumonia, a lung infection that can cause high fevers, chest pain, and breathing difficulties. Since this infection can lead to further complications and is especially dangerous for the elderly, taking measures to reduce your senior loved one’s risk is important.
Make Sure Vaccinations Are Up to Date
Pneumonia is caused by a variety of organisms that enter the lungs. Vaccines can prevent infection from some of the viruses and bacteria known to cause the illness. These protective vaccines include:
Pertussis (whooping cough)
Varicella (chicken pox)
While vaccines can’t prevent all cases of pneumonia, studies have shown seniors who are vaccinated tend to have milder cases that don’t last as long, and they typically have fewer complications from the illness.
Wash Your Hands
Keeping your hands clean while visiting and caring for your loved one can reduce his or her risk of developing pneumonia. Washing your hands frequently and keeping surfaces clean with antibacterial wipes can prevent the spread of infection. Simple signs posted around the home can remind visitors to wash their hands after using the restroom and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their noses, which can greatly reduce the number of germs your loved one is exposed to daily.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Edmonton families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Manage Your Loved One’s Diabetes
If your loved one has diabetes, he or she is more susceptible to infections such as pneumonia. The immune system depends on healthy cells that travel through the lymphatic system to fight off viruses and bacteria. High blood sugar levels weaken these cells, preventing them from doing their job. Encourage your loved one to manage his or her blood sugar levels through eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, and taking his or her prescribed medication or insulin regularly.
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 in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
After the age of 50, the human body requires slightly different nutrients to operate at maximum efficiency. Seniors with nutritional deficiencies have a greater chance of contracting pneumonia and other illnesses. Older adults should consider high-quality supplements that contain large doses of folic acid, vitamin C, and zinc. It’s important for your loved one to consult his or her doctor before taking any supplement.
Help Your Loved One Quit Smoking
Smoking can impair the lungs and leave them susceptible to infection. If your loved one currently smokes, encourage him or her to quit or reduce the number of cigarettes he or she smokes every day. Visitors should never smoke in your loved one’s home or anywhere he or she could be exposed to secondhand smoke.
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 Edmonton, 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 (780) 490-7337.