Jan 24, 2019 by David Yeomans
Pneumonia is a respiratory disease that causes inflammation and causes the lungs to fill with liquid and pus. This situation reduces the lungs' ability to provide the body with enough oxygen. While some seniors may be laid up for weeks or months, other situations can be much worse. In fact, in America, pneumonia claims more lives each year than automobile accidents. The good news is that pneumonia can be prevented and its severity limited. Comfort Keepers’ in home care for seniors can help.
Signs and Symptoms
In order to get the immediate medical attention pneumonia requires, you must know what to look for. The most common signs and symptoms of pneumonia are
Seniors tend to show fewer initial symptoms than other age groups. This means that you need to be vigilant. Too many seniors simply feel under the weather or worn out and don't realize they have pneumonia until it becomes severe. With Comfort Keepers’ in home care for seniors, care providers can often notice symptoms before you do and get you the early intervention you need.
Reducing the Risks
Granted, the goal is not just lessening the severity of pneumonia, but its prevention. The CDC says that the best way to reduce the risk of pneumonia is through the pneumonia vaccine. Despite the success of this immunization at preventing and reducing the severity of pneumonia, only one-third of seniors are vaccinated.
Second only to immunization is hand washing. Frequently washing hands with soap and water stops the spread of germs that lead to illness. This is especially important when going to places where there are lots of people like the senior center, supermarket, or places of worship.
Smoking is linked to a multitude of illnesses and diseases, but it is particularly harmful when mixed with a respiratory illness. Not smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke is a great way to lessen your risk of pneumonia.
Daily brushing, flossing, and using an anti-bacterial mouthwash can help prevent tooth and gum infections. Since both are linked to pneumonia, dental hygiene is an important component in reducing the risk of pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a very serious condition that can rob you of weeks or months of life, or worse. Yet, with a little planning, preparation, and support, you can avoid the severe challenges of this horrible illness. For more information on pneumonia or to learn more about the many ways Comfort Keepers’ in home care for seniors can maximize your safety, well-being, and quality of life, contact a care coordinator today.
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