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What Infections Do Seniors Get Most Often?

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Older adults are just as likely as people in any other age group to develop infections. However, due to the fact that seniors often have less efficient immune systems, simple infections may have serious complications. Some microbial infections are common in the elderly. Luckily, there are ways to prevent these infections or ensure they don’t become life-threatening.

Influenza

Hundreds of thousands of people develop the flu each year. However, the virus may cause fatalities among the very young and the very old. For this reason, seniors are advised to get annual flu vaccines. When feasible, friends or family members with cold or flu symptoms shouldn’t come in contact with their elderly loved ones. All should frequently wash their hands throughout the day. Seniors must also adhere to a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep to maintain optimal health.

Bacterial Pneumonia

Secondary to having a weakened immune system, a simple cold or a case of the flu may progress into a serious secondary respiratory infection known as bacterial pneumonia. Older adults need to receive the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination as recommended. Ailing family members must keep their distance from elderly loved ones. Should they come down with colds or the flu, seniors need to hydrate and eat well along with getting plenty of rest to overcome the illness. 

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior care. West Hartford Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

Bladder Infections

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are common in older adults. Oftentimes, aging adults may not fully empty their bladders. The remaining warm urine provides the ideal environment for bacterial growth. Afflicted seniors often exhibit confusion and/or become incontinent in the presence of infection. A urine sample provided at a healthcare facility typically identifies the causative bacteria for which seniors receive antibiotic treatment. To reduce the chance of UTIs, seniors must hydrate well and ensure they fully evacuate their bladders. Proper wiping and hygiene also reduce infection risk. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elder care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Yeast Infections

Yeast is part of the normal flora in the human body. However, seniors are likely to experience an overgrowth and develop yeast infections after taking certain antibiotics. Yeast tends to proliferate in people with cancer, diabetics, and those who routinely use prescription inhalation treatments. Eating low-fat yogurt can reduce the number of colonies. Rinsing the mouth with water or mouthwash after a breathing treatment prevents oral infections, but some older adults may require a course of antifungal medication to eliminate the infection.

Digestive Tract Infections

The Helicobacter pylori bacteria is associated with gastrointestinal ulcer development. Although the bacteria are normally found in the digestive tract, a weakened immune system may allow the microbe to grow out of control. Abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomit resembling vegetable beef soup are common symptoms. Treatment requires a combination of antibiotics and antifungal and antacid medications. Clostridium difficile is another microbe that’s normally found in the environment and in the body. However, overgrowth may occur after taking certain antibiotics or in the presence of a weakened immune system. Treatment involves a microbe-specific antibiotic.

Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional 24-hour care West Hartford, CT, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (860) 372.4500 to schedule a free in-home consultation.