Seniors are more likely to have conditions such as COPD or heart disease, which when coupled with pneumonia can result in fatal complications. Even a minor case of pneumonia can worsen an elderly person’s already compromised immune system, making an underlying illness like heart disease potentially fatal.
This article discusses five healthy lifestyle habits seniors in independent living facilities in Palm Springs, FL, can adhere to, to prevent pneumonia.
5 Ways to Protect the Elderly from Pneumonia
Regardless of the genesis of the infection, pneumonia is one of the most prevalent diseases in elderly people. It can be brought on by bacteria, viruses, or other factors. In reality, seniors are more likely to develop pneumonia for a number of reasons, including age-related changes in lung function, increased disease exposure in communal settings, and the presence of risk factors like cardiopulmonary disease or diabetes.
Understanding the Signs of Pneumonia in the Elderly
According to the Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, diagnosing pneumonia in seniors can be difficult because they may not experience the conventional signs and symptoms, such as temperature, chills, and cough. Watch out for non-respiratory symptoms like weakness, delirium, confusion, or dizziness as well as other, less specific symptoms, particularly in people who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These conditions can make it difficult for them to accurately diagnose symptoms of pneumonia. Be aware of any changes in your loved one’s health and consult a doctor if any unusual symptoms appear. Seniors with pre-existing conditions may also have a harder time recognising the signs of pneumonia.
Develop a Routine of Good Hygiene
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer to help prevent the spread of these illnesses because common respiratory infections, colds, and influenza can occasionally result in pneumonia. Good dental health is essential because other infections, such as those of the mouth or teeth, can also result in pneumonia. Last but not least, if you want to keep senior family members from developing pneumonia, make sure you give them advice on how to stay away from sick people, whether they have minor illnesses like the flu or respiratory infections or more severe conditions like chicken pox or the measles. These can all result in asthma.
Make Sure Seniors Receive Vaccinations
Seniors and others at risk for pneumonia are advised by the Mayo Clinic and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to get immunized against pathogenic pneumococcal pneumonia. A single vaccination can help avoid or lessen the severity of pneumonia. After five years, your doctor might also advise getting a supplemental shot. Seniors should be immunized against other illnesses, especially influenza, that can cause pneumonia.
Smoking significantly increases a person’s risk of developing pneumonia because it impairs the lungs’ ability to fight off infection. Smoking is a primary risk factor for pneumonia. Seniors at risk for asthma can better protect themselves by giving up smoking.
Maintain Overall Health
Good general health practices are essential to avoiding pneumonia in seniors. They keep the immune system strong and equipped to fight off infection. Make sure your loved one gets enough rest and exercise, as well as follows the right nutrition recommendations.
Since pneumonia is the first among infectious causes of death in the whole of the US, it is critical that seniors are given utmost care, especially in retirement communities. Follow these five lifestyle habits from the independent living facilities in Palm Springs, FL, and make sure the retirement years are truly golden!