Pneumonia is generally caused by a virus or some form of bacteria. People usually contract it by breathing in germs that go into their lungs. In many cases, when a person has a strong immune system, they can fight off these germs. However, the elderly often have a weaker immune system and have difficulty fighting off the germs. It is important to remember that even if a person has a strong immune system and is healthy, they can still get pneumonia. If you are a family caregiver, find out the main reasons why your elderly loved one could contract pneumonia.

Community-acquired pneumonia

Homecare Delray Beach FL - How Do Senior Citizens Usually Contract Pneumonia?

Homecare Delray Beach FL – How Do Senior Citizens Usually Contract Pneumonia?

This kind of pneumonia is usually contracted from day to day interactions. It is generally caused by a virus or bacteria from the sinus cavities or nose. It can be transferred from the breath that comes out of a person’s lungs. In most cases, if a person is healthy and has a strong immune system, they can fight off the virus and bacteria. However, it is much more difficult for the elderly to shield themselves from the bacteria that can lead to them contracting community-acquired pneumonia. If you or a homecare provider is currently caring for your elderly loved one, do all that you can to keep them away from areas where there are greater risks of getting sick. For instance, public bathrooms and highly crowded places should be avoided when possible.

Hospital-acquired pneumonia

There are times when a person can get pneumonia after staying in a hospital or long-term care facility. It might seem like a person shouldn’t be able to get pneumonia in a hospital. However, the truth is that this health condition can be contracted anywhere. Unfortunately, people who are in the hospital are already sick. This means they are more vulnerable to get pneumonia. They are also less likely to fend it off. If your elderly loved one is in the hospital it might be best to speak with their doctor. Ask the doctor how they tend to help your elderly loved one to prevent pneumonia.

Aspiration pneumonia

It is important to understand that when anything other than air goes into the lungs, it can cause pneumonia. This can include things like the following:

  • Certain foods
  • Some drinks
  • Vomit
  • Even saliva

There are also some diseases that can cause pneumonia. For instance, some people who have Parkinson’s disease tend to have a higher risk of contracting pneumonia. This is usually due to the fact that the disease affects a person’s gag reflex. This can make a person more prone to choking and contracting the bacteria.

Homecare providers and family caregivers should learn everything they can about how an elderly person can contract pneumonia. This way you can help ensure the elderly person you are caring for has the lowest risk of getting pneumonia. If you are concerned that your elderly loved one might have pneumonia, it is best to speak with their doctor immediately.

Sources:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917114/
https://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/index.html

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