Pneumonia is a serious health condition that affects seniors over 65 more than any other age group. The complications can prove lethal, so it is important to take whatever steps necessary to prevent it. Lincoln, NE, in-home care providers at Home Care Assistance discuss 5 tips on preventing pneumonia in seniors.
1. Get Vaccinations
One of the most common causes of pneumonia is the flu. Be sure your loved one gets a flu vaccine before the onset of winter, when flu becomes common. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about other important vaccinations, such as one for pneumococcal pneumonia.
2. Practice Good Hygiene
Your loved one should wash his or her hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, before eating food, or after coughing or blowing his or her nose. If your loved one meets anyone with a cold, flu, or a communicable disease like chickenpox, he or she should wash his or her hands immediately and try to avoid more contact with the person. Encourage your loved one to brush and floss his or her teeth each day, as tooth infections can also lead to pneumonia.
3. Get Healthy
Make sure your loved one takes care of his or her immune system by eating plenty of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, exercising daily, and getting enough sleep each night. If your loved one smokes, encourage him or her to give it up, as it makes the lungs weaker and less likely to fight the infection.
4. Be Careful When Sick
If your loved one faces difficulty breathing, take him or her to a doctor and talk about what can be done to prevent it from becoming pneumonia. Encourage your loved one to get plenty of rest and take any medications the doctor prescribes.
5. Become Familiar with the Symptoms
Pneumonia can develop quickly from bacteria, viruses, or fungi, so know what signs and symptoms to look for. Shortness of breath and fatigue are some of the early symptoms, followed by cough, chest pain, mental confusion, fever, and chills. Again, your loved one should see a doctor as soon as possible.
To reduce your senior loved one safe risk of pneumonia, encourage him or her to make healthy lifestyle changes. Caregivers at Home Care Assistance can work tirelessly to assist your aging loved one with adopting healthy habits. Our care plans can include meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation to medical appointments, and a range of physical and social stimulation activities to help seniors keep health conditions at bay and lead healthy lives. For high-quality respite care, Lincoln, NE, residents can reach out to us at (402) 261-5158.