Infections are not to be taken lightly because they are the leading cause of death in adults over 65. Common infections can be easy to overcome at a young age, but these illnesses are more difficult to diagnose in seniors. These can lead to chronic poor health, ongoing discomfort, and a higher chance of being hospitalized.
It’s critical for caregivers to learn about the most common infections in elderly, along with their signs and symptoms because:
- One-third of senior deaths are caused by infectious diseases
- Seniors with dementia or those in long-term care may be at even greater risk
- Nonspecific symptoms, such as a decline in functioning, incontinence, loss of appetite, and mental status could show signs of infection
- It’s critical for caregivers to learn about the most common infections in elderly, along with their signs and symptoms.
Most Common Infections
It’s important to be aware of any changes in senior health, so the necessary steps can be taken to ward off infections that may be preventable. By doing this a greater wellness and quality of life can be promoted in their lives.
Below is a list of the most common infections in seniors to be aware of:
Influenza combined with pneumonia is one of the top causes of death in the united states. 90% of these deaths occur in adults over the age of 65. It’s common for seniors to have a weakened immune system, which increases the risk for developing pneumonia. Influenza is contagious and easily spread throughout elderly homes through by coughing and sneezing.
Common symptoms of influenza are:
- Aches and pains
- Sore throat
The best way to prevent the flu is to get an annual flu vaccine. It can decrease the risk of hospitalization and death rates of seniors living nursing homes. Keep in mind that the seasonal flu virus changes each year, so older adults need to get a flu shot each fall.
High numbers of seniors get admitted to the hospital due to pneumonia, these numbers reach more than 60%. Seniors have a higher risk for pneumonia because of their changes in lung capacity, higher exposure to disease in senior homes, and increased susceptibility to other conditions.
Symptoms of Pneumonia:
- Chest pain
- Fever, sweating, and shaking chills
- Lower than normal body temperature
The ways to help prevent pneumonia are getting vaccinated with a flu shot, practice good hygiene, and don’t smoke.
As the skin ages it becomes more difficult to heal at a fast rate making it more susceptible to diseases. Skin infections become more common as we get older.
Some of these infections can include:
- Bacterial or fungal foot infections
- Viral infections
Symptoms of Skin Infections:
- Pain and tenderness in affected area
- Redness or inflammation on your skin
- Skin rash or sore that appears and grows quickly
Pay extra attention to constant itching, lesions, or pain. If your loved one is experiencing discomfort seek treatment, most skin infections are treatable. They can be avoided by practicing good hygiene.
Reno Valley Assisted Living and Retirement Community
Reno Valley is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact Reno Valley today to learn more about our services or tour our community.