Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Seniors

March 14, 2019
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Pneumonia can be an extremely dangerous condition for an elderly adult. Seniors tend to have immune systems that are not as strong as those of younger people, which means that they are more likely to develop serious health conditions and experience severe complications associated with those conditions, and will have a more difficult time recovering if they do develop a health issue.

This means that your senior is more likely than you are to contract pneumonia and more likely to experience serious effects of the disease. As a family caregiver, it is your responsibility to recognize this risk and to help your elderly parent take meaningful steps to reduce the risk and stay healthier as they age.

The most common form of pneumonia that elderly adults develop is called community-acquired pneumonia. This is the form that occurs when a person is infected without being in a hospital or medical center.

How to Protect Seniors from Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Fortunately, there are ways that you can help your parent to reduce the risk that they will develop it.

Some ways that you can protect your senior from community-acquired pneumonia include:

1. Immunization

Talk to their doctor about immunization. Vaccination can be one of the most effective means of protecting your senior from pneumonia, but it is not right for everyone. Talk to their doctor about the possibility of getting them vaccinated and if this would be a beneficial choice for them. You may also want to consider getting yourself vaccinated as a further layer of protection.

2. Stop Smoking

If your aging parent smokes, encourage them to quit. Smoking offers no benefits and can lead to a wide variety of serious complications and risks, including making your parent more vulnerable to serious health issues such as pneumonia. Talk to their doctor about healthy and safe ways that you can help your parent quit smoking.

3. Practice Germ Control

Aggressive germ control measures should be a part of your daily care routine with your senior. These are designed to help protect them from illness and infection when they are in the home and when they are not. These can include cleaning the house regularly, not interacting with those who have been ill recently, using hand sanitizer, and washing their hands regularly. These measures are particularly important if your parent is already ill since they will have a lower immune system and be more vulnerable during this time.

Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care Services

Starting home care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them in the course of your caregiver journey with them.

An in-home senior care services provider will work with you to understand your elderly loved one’s individual challenges and limitations and will be there with your senior on a customized schedule to ensure that they get all of the care, support, and assistance that they need when they need it.

This also ensures that you are able to give them the care that you can give them while feeling confident that they will be in good hands even when you are not able to be with them. The highly personalized services of a home care provider are designed to help your parent stay healthy, safe, comfortable, and happy while also pursuing a lifestyle that is as independent and fulfilling as possible as they age in place.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today at (888) 592-5855.