In Home Caregivers Suggest Pneumonia Risk Reduction Methods For Seniors in Vacaville, CA
Comfort Keepers' in home caregivers understand how important it is for your loved one to maintain good health during the cold seasons.
Pneumonia is a serious infection that affects the air sacs in one or both lungs, often caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. It causes decreased circulation to the lungs, resulting in lower levels of oxygen in the blood. The inflammation can range from mild to severe.
Older adults are at a higher risk of contracting pneumonia – and once seniors catch the infection, it usually takes much longer for them to recover than it takes for younger, healthier adults.
As a family in home caregiver providing care for a loved one, it’s essential to learn more about pneumonia, how to reduce the risks of developing the condition, and know how to recognize the symptoms during the onset.
Risk Reduction Methods for Pneumonia
- Washing hands frequently – As germs and microbes spread through touch, washing hands can help reduce the spread of pneumonia. Remind your loved one to wash their hands regularly, especially during the winter. Consider posting clearly visible reminders above the sink areas in your Mom or Dad’s home.
- Adhering to regular dental hygiene – The infection can arise from tooth and gum infection, so make sure to remind your loved about the importance of oral hygiene and encourage them to brush, floss, and clean their dentures as often as possible.
- Getting immunized – There is a one-time vaccine that can either completely prevent or help reduce the severity of the condition. When your loved one gets immunized, their doctor may recommend a booster vaccine after a five year period. Getting an influenza shot is also highly recommended as this condition can develop into pneumonia.
- Quitting smoking - Smoking is a major risk factor for a number of serious conditions, including pneumonia. As an in home caregiver, consider encouraging your loved one to stop their hazardous habit.
Getting Familiar with the Symptoms
The bad news is that the incidence of pneumonia increases with age. In contradiction to this, seniors often complain of fewer symptoms than younger people, so it is very important to watch for the following signs in your loved one:
- Strong cough
- Sudden chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chills and/or fever
- Proneness to falls
If you happen to notice one or more of these symptoms, contact your loved one’s physician immediately. Since pneumonia is very serious, even life-threatening, you might want to consider hiring a professional in home caregiver to help you nurse your loved one back to health.
The good news is that Comfort Keepers can help. Our experienced in home caregiver can assist your loved one with daily routines, medication management, drive them to and from the doctor’s office, and make sure they maintain their independent lifestyle for as long as possible.