How do you treat pneumonia?
Treatment depends, first of all, on a medical determination of cause. The goal is always to eliminate the infection. Secondly, prevent any complications, and treat symptoms to help your elderly parents feel better.
Viral pneumonia doesn’t respond to antibiotics. If your elderly parent‘s pneumonia is from a virus, the doctor may prescribe antiviral medication. In some cases, rest and treatment will help to relieve symptoms. Viral pneumonia usually heals in a few weeks. However, if your elderly parents start to get worse, it’s important to see the doctor.
Bacterial pneumonia can be a possible complication of viral pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. The doctor may run tests to determine which antibiotic medicine will work best for the type of bacteria causing the pneumonia.
It’s important to take all the medicine as prescribed by the doctor, even if seniors start to feel better after a few days. Not taking the full course of antibiotics as prescribed can cause the infection to return. And, the bacteria can become resistant to the medicine. This will make it more difficult to treat your elder‘s pneumonia.
Your aging parents may receive treatment for pneumonia at home, or at a hospital. However, this will depend on age, their overall health condition, and the severity of the disease.
Seniors may need to be hospitalized if they have other respiratory or heart conditions. They may also need to be treated at a hospital if they need help breathing. Severe symptoms can include:
— Rapid breathing
— Low blood pressure
— A very low or very fast heart rate
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164