The body’s immune system weakens with age, making seniors susceptible to a number of health conditions such as pneumonia. This infection is caused by viruses and bacteria. Although pneumonia accounts for several deaths every year, it is preventable. El Dorado County home care experts discuss a few ways seniors can prevent pneumonia.
1. Know the Symptoms
Diagnosing pneumonia in seniors can be difficult because many of them do not show symptoms such as fever and chills. Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with pneumonia:
If you know more about pneumonia and its symptoms, you can help your senior loved one get immediate treatment to prevent the infection or slow its progression.
2. Practice Good Hygiene
Colds, influenza, and ordinary respiratory infections can potentially lead to pneumonia, but practicing good hygiene helps prevent these health conditions. Encourage your senior loved one to carry hand sanitizer at all times to keep his or her hands clean while in public. Washing the hands regularly can help your loved one prevent illnesses that cause pneumonia. Good oral hygiene can prevent dental infections that lead to pneumonia.
3. Get Immunized
Your senior loved one needs to be vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia. This is a one-time vaccination that can help reduce your loved one’s risk of developing the infection. A booster vaccine can be taken every five years, but it is best to consult a doctor before getting the booster. Your loved one will also need vaccination against other diseases and infections that cause pneumonia.
4. Stop Smoking
Smoking is a major risk factor associated with pneumonia. If your senior loved one smokes, his or her lungs may have difficulty defending against pneumonia as well as various other conditions and infections. By not smoking, your senior loved one can prevent pneumonia even if he or she is considered at-risk.
5. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle helps keep your senior loved one’s immune system robust, which is necessary for fighting off infections and illnesses that cause pneumonia. To keep the immune system healthy, your senior loved one may need to eat a well-balanced diet, get plenty of exercise, and manage stress. Good health not only reduces the risk of pneumonia, but it can also help your senior loved one prevent a variety of age-related diseases.
For more tips on how your senior loved one can enjoy a healthy life, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of high-quality live-in and respite care. El Dorado seniors can benefit from our tailored care plans, which can include healthy meal preparation, medication reminders, exercise, and social stimulation activities that promote health and longevity. To create a custom care plan for your aging loved one, give us a call today at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411.