Caring for a Loved One with Pneumonia

Pneumonia has one of the highest readmission rates of all chronic diseases. In fact, 1 in 5 people with pneumonia ends up back in the hospital. Studies have shown that an active, informed, and involved caregiving team can help reduce the likelihood of a stressful, costly return trip to the hospital.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

Typically, pneumonia exists when a patient’s immune system is weakened due to another illness, such as bronchitis or the flu. If a loved one has the flu, watch for these warning signs which could develop into pneumonia:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Pain or pressure in the abdomen or chest

  • Confusion

  • Abrupt dizziness

  • Vomiting

Helping A Loved One with Pneumonia

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to treat a loved one at home to promote recovery. Here are some tips for taking care of a loved one with pneumonia at home:

  • Give your loved one plenty of fluids and make sure he or she rests, saving strength for recovery. Fluids help loosen secretions so that the patient can bring up phlegm.

  • Try to get your loved one to eat something that will build up his or her strength, such as lentil or chicken soup.

  • Don’t let your loved one do any chores until he or she is stronger.

  • Give your loved one aspirin or acetaminophen to control any fever.

  • Wash your hands before preparing your loved one’s food or touching him or her.

  • Make sure no visitors have colds or coughs.

  • Try propping your parent up in bed to see if that helps his or her breathing.

BrightStar Care can educate people with pneumonia and their families on the key aspects of the condition and how to monitor symptoms, adhere to a plan of care, take their medication, improve wellness, and stay healthy. For more information on how BrightStar Care can help you better care for a loved one with pneumonia, contact your local agency or call 866.618.7827.