Because the impact of pneumonia is far greater on seniors than it is on people in other age groups, it’s important for families to help their elderly loved ones remain healthy and stave off this serious illness. Here are four ways your loved one can prevent pneumonia.
1. Maintain Good Hygiene
Pneumonia can easily develop following a viral or bacterial respiratory infection such as a cold or the flu. Be diligent about washing your hands thoroughly or using hand sanitizer, and encourage your loved one to do the same. You should also encourage your loved one to avoid crowded spaces and people who are ill during peak cold and flu season.
Dental infections are another common cause of pneumonia. Practicing good oral hygiene and having regular dental checkups can decrease the amount of bacteria in the mouth and reduce your loved one’s risk of pneumonia.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care service. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
2. Get Vaccinated
Encourage your loved one to get the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. This vaccine is normally given only once, but some seniors may require boosters after five years. An annual influenza vaccine can also prevent the flu, which is a common cause of pneumonia in seniors.
Preventing illnesses such as the flu and pneumonia is important because they can lead to more significant health issues. 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. Montgomery seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
3. Quit Smoking
Smokers are far more likely to develop pneumonia than nonsmokers because smoking makes the lungs more susceptible to opportunistic infections. If your loved one is having difficulty giving up smoking, encourage him or her to consult a doctor to discuss various cessation therapies, including nicotine replacement products, medications, and support groups.
4. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
An overall healthy lifestyle boosts the body’s immune system so it can defend against viral and bacterial infections that can lead to pneumonia. Healthy living includes eating nutritious foods, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of rest. Physical exercise is also a powerful immunity booster that promotes deeper breathing and better oxygenation.
Some seniors don’t exhibit the cough, fever, and chills normally associated with pneumonia. Be on the lookout for early non-respiratory symptoms, including:
- Generalized weakness
It’s important to remember seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia may have difficulty articulating their symptoms and may only convey a vague feeling of being unwell.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Montgomery families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call us at (334) 593-3988 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.