Elderly people are susceptible to pneumonia for a number of reasons such as heart disease and weakened immunity systems. Pneumonia is caused by different microorganisms, and its symptoms are likely to vary from case to case. Burlington, VT, elderly care professionals discuss 5 tips to help seniors keep pneumonia at bay.
1. Get Immunized
Some cases of pneumonia are caused by the bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae. Seniors can easily get themselves vaccinated against this particular strain of bacteria. Depending on your loved one’s susceptibility to respiratory infections, the doctor might recommend getting booster shots every few years. Seniors should also consider vaccines for other illnesses that may compromise their immunity systems.
2. Practice Good Hygiene
Seniors at risk of respiratory infections should carry hand sanitizer with them at all times. They should clean their hands with the sanitizer for at least 30 seconds before eating. Whenever seniors come home, they should wash their hands with hot water and antibacterial soap for 60 seconds.
3. Postpone Visits to Sick Friends and Family Members
If any of your family members or friends are sick, make sure to keep your aging loved one away from them. Symptoms such as a sore throat can be dangerous for seniors. During the flu season, you should advise your loved one to try and avoid public places and larger crowds.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
Without proper nutrients, it can be challenging for a senior to fight off an infection. For this reason, your loved one’s diet should include fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, and whole grains. Foods rich in vitamin C are excellent for the immune system and can facilitate the body’s natural healing process.
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking cigarettes can create microscopic tears in the lungs, which can be infected by foreign bacteria. Smoking also suppresses the immune system and makes it difficult for white blood cells to destroy germs. Within just 30 days of quitting cigarettes, the cilia in the lungs will begin to repair themselves and the risk of developing a respiratory infection can drop substantially.
A healthy diet and regular activity can help seniors stave off a number of health conditions. At Home Care Assistance, our professional respite and live-in caregivers in Burlington, VT, can prepare healthy meals and provide social stimulation activities to boost your loved one’s physical, emotional, and cognitive health. Our senior care plans can include medication reminders to make sure your loved one does not skip a dose. To create a tailored care plan for your aging loved one, call us at (802) 231-0415.