How A Health Care Provider Can Help Your Senior Loved One Reduce The Risk Of Pneumonia in Palatine, IL
A health care provider is here to help your loved one reduce their risk of pneumonia and recognize the symptoms
Pneumonia is an infectious inflammation of one or both lungs caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses or fungi. The infection results in decreased lung circulation and reduced levels of oxygen in the bloodstream and it can range from mild to severe. Unfortunately, seniors are at a much higher risk of catching pneumonia than any other age group. To make matters worse, once older adults contract this condition, it takes much longer for them to get better in comparison to younger adults.
If you are a health care provider to your loved one, you probably know just how important it is to frequently monitor Mom or Dad’s well-being. Consequently, it is of vital significance to know how to recognize the symptoms of pneumonia.
Strategies for Reducing Pneumonia Risk Factors
- Frequent hand washing is a must. As a health care provider, remind your loved one to wash their hands regularly and use a hand sanitizer when going out. Many germs and other microbes spread by physical contact, especially in the winter. Consider posting signs in your loved one’s bathroom and kitchen to remind them to wash their hands.
- Furthermore, remind your parent or relative to take good care of their teeth and dentures. Pneumonia can develop from tooth and gum infections so make sure your loved one brushes and flosses regularly.
- Take your loved one to get their immunizations. There is a one-time vaccine that can prevent or significantly reduce the risk of catching bacterial pneumococcal pneumonia. A doctor may recommend a second, booster vaccine to be administered after a five year period. Preventatively vaccinating Mom or Dad against influenza or other illnesses that can lead to pneumonia is also a good idea.
- Encourage your loved one to quit smoking. Every family health care provider should consider helping their loved one to kick the habit. Seniors who smoke are at a higher risk of getting pneumonia because the use of tobacco gradually lessens the capacity of the lungs to fend off infections.
Get Acquainted with the Symptoms of Pneumonia
As we already established, the risk of pneumonia increases with age. However, older adults with pneumonia often complain of fewer symptoms compared to younger adults. For this reason, it is important that you’re aware of the following symptoms:
- Sudden, unexpected chest pain
- Shortness of breath
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, take Mom or Dad to the doctor’s office as soon as possible.
You should know that Comfort Keepers can also be of help. A trained health care provider can help your loved one to maintain a high quality of life and continue living safely and happily in their home for longer. Contact our local Comfort Keepers office today to learn more about our services.