Which Diseases does In-Home Care See Most Often?
Infectious diseases can be an extremely serious problem for the elderly, including those who benefit from in-home care. For younger folks, an illness is usually a minor inconvenience, perhaps causing the loss of a day of work or school. But seniors, with weaker immune systems, are in danger of losing the battle that their bodies fight with infection. The American Academy of Family Physicians has just published a report identifying the five most common diseases responsible for hospital admissions among the elderly.
Pneumonia and the Flu
As it turns out, pneumonia and influenza are the two most common infections that send seniors to the hospital. A particular problem with pneumonia is that its symptoms closely match those of other, less serious diseases. By the time family members realize that their loved one is dealing with more than a simple cold, hospitalization may be necessary. Following the flu in second place are urinary tract infections and skin conditions. As the first line of defense for the rest of the body, the skin must remain healthy and strong to protect overall health.
Rounding out the list of common diseases are two antibiotic-resistant infections, most commonly known as MRSA and VRE. Both infections spread easily in settings with humans in close proximity—such as a long-term care facility or even a hospital. Even after a senior has been hospitalized, family members, doctors, and in-home care must be careful to continue protecting against infection as much as possible.
Better Health with In-Home Care
With an extra pair of eyes and hands in the form of a professional caregiver, families of seniors can do a better job monitoring them for the symptoms of these and other dangerous diseases. Learn to recognize the telltale signs of pneumonia, and never be too quick to dismiss illness as a minor, passing cold—especially if symptoms persist for an unusual amount of time. A visit to the doctor may save your loved one a visit to the hospital later on.
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