Home care in Emerson, NJ

  • 70 Kinderkamack Road
  • Suite 101
  • Emerson, NJ 07630

Taking Care of Seniors with Pneumonia: Tips for Caregivers

Elderly patients are particularly susceptible to pneumonia, which can be fatal. Caregivers who care for elderly patients with pneumonia should know how to care for them and keep them safe. Caregivers need to know what causes pneumonia in the elderly, what symptoms to look out for, and what to do if a loved one is infected.

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by the accumulation of fluid and debris in the lungs. The cause of this type of pneumonia can be attributed to bacteria, viruses, or fungus. Furthermore, pneumonia can also be induced by external circumstances such as smoke or chemical fumes that can be inhaled from the outside. There is no doubt that pneumonia is a serious disease that if not treated quickly may lead to respiratory failure, sepsis, or even death if left untreated.

Pneumonia can pose a serious threat to older people. As we age, our immune systems weaken, making us more susceptible to illness. The consequences of pneumonia might be long-term and devastating in senior care, which is why it's crucial to detect any symptoms or signs.

What Causes Pneumonia in Older Adults?

In most cases, pneumonia is spread by someone close to you. Consequently, pneumonia can be quite dangerous in nursing homes. As a result of underlying issues and physical immobility, nursing home residents are more at risk of pneumonia.

What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?

Pneumonia can have a variety of symptoms depending on the severity of the infection and the individual. The following are some of the most common symptoms of this condition:

  • Coughing up greenish or yellow mucus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Sweating and shaking chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

Elderly adults who are at high risk for pneumonia need to be closely monitored. This includes people who have weakened immune systems as well as those who require proper care due to their medical conditions. Identifying these symptoms early will make it easier to fight the infection before it worsens and prevent it from spreading.

What Are the Risks of Pneumonia in Older Adults?

In the course of aging, the risk of pneumonia naturally increases. It is important to be aware of some of the most common risks associated with pneumonia, as it can be fatal for elderly people:

Those that are older than 60 are at a greater risk of developing terminal pneumonia, as they are more susceptible to the disease. Several dangers must be considered, and caregivers must be aware of these threats before they become worse. The following are the most significant hazards:

Bacteria in the blood

There is a possibility that pneumonia bacteria can travel from your lungs to your blood and various other parts of your body. It is common for the bacteria in your lungs to spread to other parts of your body, including your blood, as the pneumonia infection worsens.

Buildup of Fluid

One of the many side effects associated with Pneumonia is the accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity. It is possible for the fluid in your lungs to become infected if left untreated, causing the fluid to accumulate in your lungs. In such a case, the fluid should be drained or surgically removed if it occurs.

Ongoing breathing issues

Patients with severe pneumonia that are also suffering from chronic lung problems have trouble breathing. During the recovery process, a breathing machine is typically advised.

Abscesses Found in Lungs

As a result of an infection within the chest cavity, bacteria can cause a chest abscess. An abscess can be treated with antibiotics if this is the case. A long needle is used to drain pus or it will be necessary to perform a surgical operation to remove pus if the condition worsens.

How to Treat and Prevent Pneumonia in Seniors?

Treating Pneumonia

The handling of pneumonia treatment depends on the medical practitioner. Depending on the severity of the infection, antibiotics and cough medicines may be prescribed to the elderly patient. To prevent pneumonia from worsening and developing other health problems in seniors, this breathing treatment works with oxygen therapy.

To ensure that a senior diagnosed with pneumonia recovers successfully, it is vital that they take the prescribed medications by their doctor during their recovery. Caregivers and family members can make a huge difference in the quality of life of their loved ones in this situation. Keeping a close eye on the symptoms of their condition will help ensure that they recover as quickly and fully as possible.

Preventing Pneumonia

To lower your risk of developing pneumonia, you can take some measures, including getting a flu shot. For example, flu vaccination could help elderly people prevent any respiratory issues that might develop during the winter months that may cause them to become ill. Combined with a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle, this can play a major role in preventing pneumonia.

Additionally, avoid individuals who are unwell, especially the elderly, since they are more likely to contract pneumonia. When traveling, one should always be cautious if they intend to visit public areas that may harm their health and immune system while in those places. It is recommended that you wash your hands regularly and wear a medical-grade face mask, for example, to prevent particles from entering your lungs.

Patients' homes need to be sanitized regularly as good hygiene and cleanliness are essential for caretakers and seniors. The presence of mold, mildew and other pollutants in buildings can lead to serious respiratory infections in elderly adults, who are particularly prone to this type of illness.

Caregiver's Role in Patients Recovering from Pneumonia

For seniors and their families, receiving a diagnosis of pneumonia can be a particularly scary experience. This lung infection can cause disconcerting symptoms, including fever, chest pain, and a hacking cough, in older adults whose immune systems are much weaker than when they were young. As seniors recover from pneumonia, they usually stay in hospitals where they can receive medical care easily. There is, however, the possibility of going home and continuing your rehabilitation in your own home after you have been discharged from the hospital. It is at this point that the role of a caretaker becomes indispensable.

A caregiver can provide a secure and adequate recuperation period for seniors who need their assistance. In addition to this, pneumonia can also be prevented from spreading to others and infecting them. As part of the recovery process, caregivers play some roles, including:

Provide Good Nutrition

After recovering from pneumonia, many elderly adults have little appetite, making it difficult for them to get the nutrients they need. Because fatigue is also one of the symptoms of pneumonia, planning meals can be quite challenging. As a result, assistance may be required. As a caregiver, you can assist a senior to plan healthy meals to maintain their nutrition at the same time. Besides helping with grocery shopping and keeping the kitchen well stocked, they might also assist with other household chores.

During the recovery period, it is very important to ensure that the patient isn't exposed to any food-borne diseases to protect them from infection. Cleaning and disinfecting the houses of caregivers is one of the best ways to prevent any potential infections from occurring.

Managing Medication

Recovering from illness is a lengthy process, and elderly adults often take multiple maintenance medications daily. It is often helpful for people to create a medication schedule so that they are sure not to miss any medications. Even though pillboxes and diaries can be effective in keeping track of medicines, due to the limitations of recovering seniors, they might be difficult for them to arrange due to their physical limitations.
Having a caregiver will relieve the patient of some of the burden associated with taking care of all of their medications since they won't have to worry about ensuring that the medication is taken on time and with the appropriate dosage since someone else will take care of it for them.

Encouraging Fluid Intake

A caregiver will not only ensure that your ailing elderly loved one gets well-balanced meals but also remind them to drink fluids and stay hydrated--two essentials to recovery. As well as aiding digestion, water flushes unwanted substances and wastes from the body, keeps the body hydrated, and more. It may be difficult for patients undergoing rehabilitation to drink water or other liquids regularly, so caregivers may encourage them to do so.

Being a Good Companion

When recovering from a serious condition, such as pneumonia, close monitoring is usually necessary. Elder patients recovering at home need someone to observe and support them during the rehabilitation process. To avoid any feeling of loneliness or isolation if you have an elderly patient, you must keep them both mentally and physically active to help avoid any feelings of loneliness or isolation. Reading books, playing simple games, watching movies, or simply listening to their patients' stories are some of the productive activities caregivers can do with their patients to make their stay more enjoyable. The family members may also feel at ease, knowing that their elderly loved one is being well taken care of, by the nursing home. With a caregiver on hand, doctor's appointments and routine check-ups are both easier to schedule.

Contact BrightStar Care Hackensack Today! 

Looking into caregiving services may be overwhelming, but with BrightStar Care, we ensure to make the process so much easier for you. We are confident that our team of professionals will assist you in looking for the right caregiver to take care of your loved one by keeping you in the loop and more. Contact us today to learn more about our caregiving services. Our office is at Home care in Emerson, NJ70 Kinderkamack Road Suite 101 Emerson, NJ 07630. You may also call us at 201-483-8490. We look forward to hearing from you soon!