Pneumonia is a lot more common for older adults than they often realize.
That’s even more true if your senior has other lung health issues, like asthma or COPD. Here’s what you can do if your senior has pneumonia.
Make Sure You Understand Her Doctor’s Recommendations
If your elderly family member is lucky enough to avoid the hospital during her bout with pneumonia, you and she need to fully understand her doctor’s recommendations. Your senior may have been prescribed antibiotics and other medications to help her to recover. Following the plan is going to make sure that she heals as quickly as possible.
Encourage Your Senior to Rest
Resting as much as possible is key to your senior being able to recover. If she tries to push too hard or do too much, she can very easily relapse. Resting can be difficult, though, especially if your elderly family member is used to doing a lot for herself. You might find that you need to talk to her about where her limits are until she’s better.
Encourage Plenty of Fluids
Part of recovering from pneumonia involves getting all of the fluid out of your senior’s lungs so that it doesn’t hang out there and become reinfected. Drinking and eating plenty of fluids can help your senior to keep her mucus thinner so that it’s easier to cough up that mucus. If her coughs aren’t productive, your senior’s doctor may recommend breathing treatments or other treatments to help her to expel fluid.
Pay Attention to Hygiene
When your elderly family member is recovering from pneumonia, it’s way too easy for her immune system to get hit by another wave of germs. It’s especially important as she recovers to pay close attention to hygiene. Hand washing, in particular, can help to avoid spreading germs to your elderly family member that could result in another round of pneumonia.
Pneumonia: Get Some Extra Help if Necessary
Even if your elderly family member isn’t in the hospital, helping her to recover from pneumonia can be a full-time job. With other responsibilities, you might feel as if you’re being run ragged as her family caregiver. It can help a lot to bring in-home care providers to assist with meal preparation and other tasks so that your senior can recover and you can get some breathing room, too.
Sticking with your senior’s care plan can help to make sure that her round of pneumonia doesn’t last any longer than it has to.