Pneumonia occurs when an infection reaches the lungs.
Pneumonia attacks the lungs’ air sacs, causing them to become inflamed and filled with fluid. Because the air sacs are responsible for moving oxygen from the lungs to the blood, pneumonia often results in breathing problems and lowers the level of oxygen in the blood.
It is responsible for the death of more than 50,000 Americans a year, and unfortunately, most of them are 65 years or older. This alone is the reason that as the caregiver of a senior living at home, you’ll want to do what you can to help ensure your parent doesn’t come down with pneumonia. Taking the following precautions will not completely eliminate the possibility of pneumonia striking but it will reduce the chances.
1. The best precaution comes long before flu and cold season even hits, and that is having your parent get the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine.
It is recommended that most people get the first vaccination around the age of 50, a second dose at 65 and then boosters every five years. If your parent hasn’t received his first shot yet, many pharmacies provide them on a walk-up basis. Your elder care provider can easily drive your parent to the pharmacy for his first dose. And while he’s there, if he hasn’t received his flu shot yet, have him get that as well. While it doesn’t prevent against pneumonia, it lessens the severity of flu, which can lead to pneumonia.
2. Washing his hands frequently will get rid of any germs your parent happens to pick up when he’s out and about. When your elder care provider brings your parent home from errands, having her gently remind your parent to go wash his hands right away will prevent germs from entering his home.
3. Brushing his teeth not only protects his teeth and gives him minty fresh breath, but it also helps prevent a pneumonia infection from taking root. Infected teeth are a prime place for an infection to strike so good oral hygiene will stop infections from starting.
4. Keeping the home clean by reducing the amounts of dust, mold and mildew in the home will go a long way in keeping your parent’s lungs healthy. Lungs damaged by these elements are more likely to succumb to pneumonia if exposed. Scheduling regular cleaning with your elder care provider can help your parent keep on top of the household chores needing to be completed to keep his home healthy.
5. Only healthy visitors should be stopping by and spending time with your parent even after the pandemic is over and gathering restrictions are lifted. A small cold in a child that your parent is exposed to could lead to much more serious consequences for your parent.
Most seniors who develop pneumonia recover from it, but the length of the battle and the sometimes-long-term conditions that can occur, like permanent lung damage or other viruses entering the system, are something you should do your best to help your parent avoid so that he can stay healthy.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Ardmore, PA, please talk to the caring staff at Better Care Home Health Services LLC today. Serving individuals and their families in Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks counties. Call Today: (267) 766-5218