Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by viral or bacterial infection. The air sacs get filled with pus and may become solid. This inflammation may affect one (single pneumonia) or both lungs (double pneumonia). This blog discusses the impact of pneumonia on older adults.
Pneumonia in elderly people (aged 65 or older) may become serious due to the high risk of severe complications. They are also at a higher risk for pneumonia because their immune system becomes less capable of fighting diseases. It can also get complicated if older adults have chronic health conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). According to medical reports, such diseases can develop gradually across several days or suddenly over 1-2 days.
People can catch pneumonia in the community and may be referred to as community-acquired pneumonia. However, elderly people may develop pneumonia while staying in a hospital. During such cases, it may be referred to as hospital-acquired pneumonia.
However, these symptoms may be unclear in older people and may not be fully present. Furthermore, it was noted that such people might present milder or fewer symptoms and maybe a lower-than-normal temperature.
Here, the symptoms develop over several days:
The symptoms can worsen after a day or two and can lead to the following:
With this type of pneumonia, the symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly:
Apart from age, other risk factors of pneumonia include:
If you have aging parents or any other elderly person in the house with pneumonia, get them treated as early as possible. The doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medications or antibiotics. They may even suggest a visit to the hospital depending on how sick the elder is.
Such medications can include:
If pneumonia advances enough that it requires medical consult or hospitalization, the best treatment forms can include:
For serious pneumonia cases, the older person may require surgery or have a procedure to remove badly damaged parts of the lungs.
While caring for an elderly pneumonia patient at home, you should take utmost precautions to prevent an infection. Get professional home care services or respite care professionals if you are unable to care for your parent on a full-time basis to ensure proper recovery.
Newport Home Care provides 24-hour home care services and respite care services throughout Orange County, CA. Located in Newport Beach, CA, our home care professionals strive to provide the best services to care for your loved one.