Top Infections in Older Adults

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Common Infections in Seniors in Des Moines, IA

The aging process impacts the immune system. As people get older, they may find they’re more susceptible to infections. Having certain health conditions, such as diabetes, increases the chances of contracting a serious infection that might lead to hospitalization. Being aware of these common infections in seniors helps you be alert for signs your aging loved one needs prompt care.

The Flu

The influenza virus circulates throughout the year, although there’s a defined flu season when older adults are more likely to catch the virus. Fortunately, vaccinations are available that can prevent the flu, and those who get vaccinated are less likely to experience complications. Treating the flu typically involves providing assistance at home that allows your parent to rest. Your loved one will also need someone to check on him or her regularly to make sure he or she isn’t developing a secondary infection. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Des Moines homecare services. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Bacterial Pneumonia

This infection typically develops after a senior has already been battling a cold or the flu. Seniors who have bacterial pneumonia may experience difficulty with breathing. They may also feel like they’ve recovered from their initial illness only to have it come back and be more severe. Seniors who have recently been ill and begin to experience respiratory symptoms may need to take antibiotics and use breathing treatments to start healing.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Seniors are more prone to UTIs due to changes in their urinary systems. A senior who has recently had a catheter placed is at higher risk for this type of infection, and women tend to develop more UTIs than men do. A UTI in a senior can cause serious symptoms, such as memory loss and confusion. Some seniors might also feel dizzy or nauseous in addition to their urinary system symptoms. Treating a UTI usually involves a round of antibiotics that are specifically designed to treat this type of bacteria.

Skin Infections

There are several types of skin infections seniors can develop, and they can all take serious turns if they’re left untreated. Fungal infections are common in seniors, and those with diabetes need to take special care to treat any that develop on their feet or in their mouths. A senior might also develop cellulitis or a drug-resistant staph infection at the site of a wound. Watch for signs of an increasing infection on your loved one’s skin. Any redness, swelling, or blistering needs to be checked right away. For mild skin infections, your loved one might need a topical medicated ointment. Systemic medications are also given for severe skin infections, which can turn into sepsis. Seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions such as arthritis may find it difficult to care for their skin without assistance. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Gastrointestinal Illnesses

Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea might be more than just the effects of a bad choice in your loved one’s diet. Seniors are more likely to experience severe symptoms from common gastrointestinal illnesses such as the norovirus. Never leave your loved one alone if he or she is unable to keep fluids down, because he or she could quickly become dehydrated. Instead, make sure you or a caregiver stays with your loved one to watch for signs he or she may need an IV at the hospital. 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 live-in care Des Moines, Iowa, 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. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (515) 264-2438 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.


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