Pneumonia is a lung infection that can have serious consequences for older adults. In the U.S., almost 250,000 people are hospitalized due to pneumonia each year and about 50,000 die from it. Older adults are at risk for complications that lead to death. If you suspect that your loved one has pneumonia, consult the doctor immediately. Read on to learn more about the causes, prevention, and treatments for pneumonia.
What Causes Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other organisms. In the U.S., pneumonia is usually caused by a virus or bacteria. Groups that are at risk of bacterial pneumonia include adults over 65, people with a weakened immune system, people with other respiratory conditions or viral infections, and people recovering from surgery. Viruses such as the influenza virus can also cause pneumonia.
How to Prevent Pneumonia?
You can prevent pneumonia in older adults in a few ways:
- Get the flu shot each year
- Get the pneumococcal vaccine
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly
- Manage chronic conditions
- Practice good health habits such as eating healthy
- Don’t smoke
How Is Pneumonia Treated?
Treatment for pneumonia depends on each case. The goal is to get rid of the infection, prevent complications and also treat the symptoms so your aging loved one can feel better. Bacterial pneumonia is treated using antibiotics. The doctors will run tests to see which antibiotic medicine is the best for the specific type of bacteria that caused pneumonia. Your loved one has to take all the medication that is prescribed by the doctor even if your loved one is feeling better after a few days. If your loved one doesn’t take the full course of the antibiotics, the infection may come back and the bacteria could become resistant to it. This makes it more challenging to treat the pneumonia in future.
Viral pneumonia does not respond to antibiotics. If it is caused by a virus, the doctor can prescribe antiviral medication. However, you usually just need to rest and some treatment to relieve the symptoms. Viral pneumonia should go away in a few weeks. If your loved one’s symptoms start to worsen, you need to see the doctor as bacterial pneumonia is a possible complication.
Why Choose Aston Gardens At Pelican Pointe?
At Aston Gardens At Pelican Pointe, we have designed a wonderful senior living community in Venice, Florida. Here, we provide you with three different senior living options: Independent Living, Senior Assisted Living, and SHINE® Memory Care. You can choose the one that is the most suitable for you. If you stay with us, you get to enjoy the excellent amenities and services that we have to offer. Our team will make sure that all your needs are met. Additionally, we have a wide range of fun and exciting activities and events to keep you engaged.
After reading about pneumonia in older adults, you might think that your loved one should stay in our senior living community where they will be well looked after. Feel free to contact us for more information!