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What Do You Know about Pneumonia?

There are some illnesses that sound really ominous, like pneumonia, but they’re just a bug like any other. Here’s information you can use to help keep your senior healthy.

Pneumonia Is an Infection

Pneumonia at first seems like it might be a really complex illness, but it’s very simple. Bacteria or viruses infect the lungs and fluid builds up. That’s pneumonia. Often your senior’s doctor will culture some of her mucus to determine what type of medication is likely to help her the most, but there aren’t any big tests. Her doctor first listens to her chest and can hear whether there’s fluid in her lungs or not. If necessary, her doctor might want a chest x-ray, just to see what’s going on in her lungs.

What Does Pneumonia Look Like?

As far as symptoms go, your elderly family member might not have a lot at first. That’s what’s typically referred to as walking pneumonia. Your senior might feel a little bit run down, but not necessarily sick. As the illness progresses, though, she might have a low-grade fever, she might be coughing, and she might feel pain or pressure in her lungs when she’s trying to breathe. If she gets really sick, she may not be able to get out of bed at all.

Your Senior Might Be at Greater Risk

Some aging adults are at greater risk of developing pneumonia than others are. If your elderly family member’s immune system doesn’t work well or if she’s had pneumonia in the past, she might be more susceptible. If she’s a smoker or she’s around smokers or she’s around other people who are sick, she may be more likely to get pneumonia. Finally, if she’s got any lung diseases, that definitely ups her chances of catching pneumonia.

Preventing Pneumonia

Talk to your senior’s doctor about the specifics of what she can do in her unique situation to avoid catching pneumonia. In general, washing your hands and washing her hands can help a lot. It’s also a good idea to consider both the flu shot and the pneumonia shot on a yearly basis. If you get sick, you might want to take some time away from caregiving until you feel better. Senior care providers can fill in for you and make sure your elderly family member is in good hands until you’re feeling better and no longer contagious.

It’s a good idea to talk to your own doctor about whether any vaccines would be beneficial for you. These can sometimes help keep your senior from getting sick.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Littleton, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.