Pneumonia is a lung infection, either bacterial or viral in nature, causing inflammation in the air sacs in your lungs, which are called alveoli. The alveoli fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult to breathe. Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. It is most serious for infants and young children, people older than age 65, and people with health problems or weakened immune systems. But there are ways to avoid pneumonia all together. Below is a list that can help your elderly loved one avoid pneumonia.
Practice Good Hygiene Habits
Bacteria is one of the main ways pneumonia enters the human body. To eliminate bacteria entering our bodies it is important to encourage proper hygiene habits especially regularly hand washing.
Just like the bacteria on her hands, the bacteria in her mouth can pose a problem in terms of pneumonia. Help your elderly loved one to keep her teeth and her mouth as healthy as possible. Also make sure that your loved one is keeping up with her dental appointments.
This habit may be hard to break but it puts your senior loved one at a much higher risk level because smoking damages the lunges and leaves them even more vulnerable to the bacteria that infect the lungs cause pneumonia.
To improve the strengthen of your elderly adult’s immune system, eating a proper diet that contains more vegetables and nutrient dense foods is ideal. With a healthy and strong immune system their bodies are better suited to fight off the pneumonia illness.
Along with these recommendations and working with your loved one's elderly care providers, other family members, and medical team to create a plan that minimizes her risk of pneumonia as much as possible.