6 Infections that Often Affect Aging Adults

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Many yearly deaths among seniors are due to infections, which is why family caregivers need to know more about illnesses and how to protect their elderly loved ones. The more caregivers learn, the less challenging it will be to understand the warning signs and get their aging loved ones immediate medical care. Below are infections that aging adults are more susceptible to and ways to treat each issue. 

1. Skin Infections

The most common types of skin infections are pressure sores, shingles, and fungal infections. Some are particularly dangerous, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is resistant to various antibiotics. Good hygiene is one of the best ways for older adults to stave off skin infections. This includes washing hands regularly, staying hydrated, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and keeping the home clean. Your loved one’s doctor may prescribe antibiotics, antihistamines, or topical creams to treat skin infections. Seniors with mobility issues or health conditions such as arthritis may need help taking care of their skin. 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 home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Influenza (Flu)

The flu can be extremely dangerous for people of all ages. However, elderly people have a higher risk of severe complications, including hospitalization and death. Aging adults are more susceptible to influenza because their weaker immune systems have difficulty fighting off the virus. To reduce the risk of the flu, your loved one should practice good hygiene and speak with his or her primary care physician about getting an annual flu vaccination. The flu is generally treated with antiviral medications. 

3. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

UTIs are one of the most common illnesses for seniors, and they can cause severe symptoms such as confusion and aggression. Urinary incontinence and frequent urination are well-known warning signs of a UTI. Aging adults are more prone to these infections because they often have difficulty emptying their bladders completely, which allows urine to linger and bacteria to develop. To treat a urinary tract infection, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics.  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 manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Des Moines families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

4. Pneumonia

Fungi, viruses, and bacteria are more challenging for seniors to fight against due to their lowered immunity, which puts them at higher risk for developing this infection. When untreated, pneumonia can progress quickly and increase the odds of death in aging adults. Some seniors receive treatment at home, while others are hospitalized to receive constant care and access to antibiotics and machines that boost respiratory function. 

5. Clostridioides

Aging is a significant risk factor for this infection, and the morbidity rate is higher among seniors. Some of the links between older adults and clostridioides are exposure to antibiotics, more frequent interaction with healthcare providers, and immunosuppression related to other conditions. Treatment includes antibiotics, but in more severe cases, surgery is required. 

6. Common Cold

This viral infection is usually harmless compared to other illnesses like the flu, but for elderly people, it could pose severe problems. Warm compresses on the head, plenty of fluids, honey and lemon for sore throats, rest, and over-the-counter medications can help seniors treat colds. However, if the symptoms associated with a cold become severe, it’s time to take your loved one to the doctor for stronger medications and other forms of treatment, including those that provide respiratory relief.  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. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (515) 264-2438


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