The current pandemic has increased people’s awareness of the dangers of developing pneumonia. Although anyone can get pneumonia, seniors tend to be at higher risk for having this health condition along with more severe symptoms. Learning more about why pneumonia happens along with its treatments gives you an edge when you’re trying to protect your loved one from this serious lung disease.
The Most Common Causes
Pneumonia develops after someone is exposed to bacteria or a virus. Your loved one could develop this condition after having the flu or another type of respiratory illness. Younger adults also get these illnesses, but seniors are more likely to develop pneumonia as a complication due to having weaker immune systems or preexisting health conditions. For example, someone who already has a respiratory condition, such as COPD, is more likely to develop pneumonia. Seniors who have weakened muscles might not be able to cough up and expel organisms that cause pneumonia. If your loved one is susceptible to catching pneumonia, it’s best to treat the symptoms of respiratory infections as early as possible to prevent them from getting out of hand. The doctor might also recommend a seasonal flu or pneumonia vaccination to prevent this condition from developing.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a homecare services agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
The symptoms of pneumonia can vary from one person to the next. In seniors, any pain in the chest should always be checked out. You can watch to see if it occurs with breathing, which can indicate it’s caused by a lung condition rather than a heart problem. A senior with a lung infection may also run a high fever and have chills. This is due to the immune system working overtime to try to clear the condition. A cough is also common, and your loved one might cough up mucus. Shortness of breath could cause your loved one to feel winded from normal activities such as getting out of bed. If the pneumonia is severe, confusion, extreme weakness, and fatigue can also impact your loved one’s wellbeing.
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 homecare. Mesa families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
When your loved one visits the doctor, he or she will undergo several types of exams that are used to determine the cause of the pneumonia. If your loved one’s condition is viral, he or she may be given antiviral medications. Antibiotics are used for bacterial lung infections. All types of pneumonia are treated with rest, plenty of fluids, and recommendations to eat a nutritious diet to keep the immune system functioning. Occasionally, someone with severe pneumonia might spend time in the hospital, but most people spend the majority of their recovery periods at home. Make sure your loved one has a caregiver to help him or her during recovery, since weakness and shortness of breath can continue for several weeks. Keep someone nearby to identify new symptoms that could signify a need for additional treatment.
Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Mesa seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Call Home Care Assistance today at (480) 699-4899 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.