Home Health Care in Port St. Lucie, FL – Seniors Have Greater Risks of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a serious condition that affects a large percent of people over the age of 65. Often a very serious condition for seniors, it is surprising that few people, including seniors themselves and their family members, know very little about the condition and how to help prevent it from affecting themselves or a loved one.
What is Pneumonia and how do you get it?
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and is very contagious. People get it by not being able to properly clear bacteria-filled secretions from their lungs. The secretions then enter the bronchial tubes which leads to swelling, irritation, development of mucus. The lungs and bronchial tubes are not able to function properly, leading to a decrease of oxygen in the blood to circulate throughout the body. The complications of pneumonia can be fatal, especially to an older person.
Why Seniors Are More At Risk
There are several reasons why senior citizens are at more risk for developing pneumonia. Pre-existing health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, COPD, asthma, and HIV are a big factor. Also, surgery may increase their chances of developing pneumonia. Post surgery, the elderly individuals tend to breathe more shallow which can lead to mucus building-up in their lungs. Finally, the older we get, the frailer we become; many seniors are unable to adequately cough secretions from their lungs which often end up causing infection.
What to Look For in Seniors
Common symptoms of pneumonia are similar to that of the flu and common cold. One of the most important indicators to look for is a cold or flu that started to get better and then suddenly becomes much worse. Other symptoms include:
- Chills and fever
- Shortness of breath and chest pain
- Green or yellow phlegm
- Suddenly feeling very lethargic
If you think your loved one may have pneumonia, book an appointment with a doctor. Pneumonia can only be properly diagnosed and treated by a professional.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of home health care in Port St. Lucie, FL or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Treasure Coast Home Health Care. Call today at (772) 678-3324.