Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that can strike people of any age, but older people are among the groups of people who are most at risk. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria or by viruses, and there are vaccines that can help your senior to avoid the most common strains of this lung infection. It’s important for you to know all the various risk groups for developing pneumonia.
People with Dysphagia
People who have difficulty swallowing, also called dysphagia, are at an increased risk of developing pneumonia because it’s very easy for food and beverages to get into their lungs. If your senior is at risk of aspirating, she may be at risk for a specific type of pneumonia. This version isn’t contagious, but it can be just as dangerous as bacterial or viral pneumonia.
People Who Smoke or Who Used to Smoke
If your senior used to smoke or if she still does, she may be at greater risk of developing bacterial or viral pneumonia. This happens because smoking damages the lungs and that damage can take years to heal, even if your elderly family member stops smoking. Tiny hairs in your senior’s lungs work to get rid of irritants, bacteria, and viruses. Smoking damages those hairs and makes her immune system work harder than it has to.
People with Certain Health Issues
Health issues that lower your senior’s immune function or that already put her lungs at risk can make her far more susceptible to pneumonia. These are ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and COPD that are already taxing your senior’s system. Talk to her doctor about the best ways to help your elderly family member to avoid pneumonia if she’s already battling these health issues.
People Who Have Been in the Hospital
Being in the hospital or around a lot of sick people can make it much easier for your elderly family member to develop pneumonia. That’s a lot of germs to avoid, and it’s not always easy to do so. If your senior used any sort of breathing assistance in the hospital, her lungs could be a little weaker which can lead to greater susceptibility to the bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia.
If your elderly family member is at higher risk of developing pneumonia, she may find that it’s helpful to have elderly care providers in her corner. They can recognize risk factors and symptoms quickly and they can help your elderly family member to take precautions to avoid pneumonia.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care in China Grove, NC, contact the caring professionals at TenderHearted Home Care today. Call us at (704) 612-4132.