Pneumonia is one of the most serious infections in elderly adults. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, there is 1 fatality for every 20 seniors that contract pneumonia, leaving the illness (combined with influenza) to be the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. Fortunately, the new Pneumococcal Vaccine is shown to be approximately 85% effective in preventing cases of pneumonia from turning into the fatal Pneumococcal Disease.
Before sharing more information about the vaccine, Jefferson County Home Care Assistance presents a bit of information about Pneumonia. Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be caused by over 30 different viruses, bacteria and fungi. The infection causes the lung’s air sacs to fill with fluid and become severely inflamed. Symptoms associated with pneumonia include but are not limited to:
- Complications breathing
- High fever
- Severe coughing
Pneumonia is particularly dangerous in seniors because the infection usually occurs when the body’s immune system is already suffering. The infection hits in the lungs and is able to spread to other parts of the body quickly and can even enter medical devices inside of the body such as a pacemaker. It also makes the individual susceptible to other underlying conditions. When left untreated, the infection can turn deadly. In most situations, the more health issues a senior adult has before a case of pneumonia, the worse the pneumonia will affect his or her body.
The CDC has now established a planned vaccination that can help elderly individuals prevent pneumonia cases. The Pneumococcal Vaccine is recommended for all individuals 65 years and older and should be taken once yearly after the first dose. Other vaccinations that are advised for elderly patients to help prevent pneumonia include:
- Flu vaccine
- Measles vaccine
- Whooping cough vaccine
- Chickenpox vaccine
It is important for elderly patients to keep their vaccinations up to date to help prevent cases of pneumonia and Pneumococcal Disease. If you are concerned about your loved one’s ability to keep up with regular medical appointments and vaccinations, consider scheduling an appointment with his or her doctor and attend the appointment so that you are informed about the best ways to keep your loved one healthy and happy.
For families and adult children who are unable to accompany their aging parents or loved ones to medical appointments or the pharmacy, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Jefferson County. While we specialize in live-in home care, we also provide Jefferson County hourly care which is great for seniors who need a helping hand around the house and transportation for important appointments and errands.
To learn more about in-home senior care, reach out to a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager today at 303-987-5992 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.