Even if your senior only has walking pneumonia, that’s a pretty serious health issue. You might be tempted to treat it as something a lot less serious than pneumonia or the flu, but it can be just as dangerous.
The Name Makes it Sound Simple
When you hear the phrase “walking pneumonia,” you might think it’s a less dangerous version of pneumonia. After all, how could someone with pneumonia be walking around, right? But the reality is that it’s far more dangerous for her and for others around her. Your senior is definitely still contagious with walking pneumonia, but she’s also running herself down even more by ignoring the symptoms she might be experiencing. It’s way more than just a cold and it needs treatment.
Walking Pneumonia Can Be Very Dangerous
If anyone your senior comes into contact with has lung diseases already, she could transfer pneumonia germs to them. Her immune system is also compromised already, so she may be encountering other germs that can do far more harm than usual because she’s already sick. Walking pneumonia can suddenly knock your senior into such a bad health state that she winds up in the hospital and from there, she may get even sicker.
Relapses Are Common
Walking pneumonia can be difficult to treat. Your senior’s immune system may be compromised to the point that she just can’t get rid of the germs or she’s infected again almost immediately after getting well. This goes double if she has other lung conditions herself. It’s really important that your elderly family member follows her doctor’s instructions completely so that she doesn’t suffer an unnecessary relapse.
How Can You Prevent Walking Pneumonia?
Preventing walking pneumonia is possible with some preparation. Your senior’s doctor may recommend that she get vaccinated against pneumonia. Also, make sure that your senior washes her hands regularly to get rid of germs. That goes for you, too. A healthy diet, plenty of rest, and exercise all work toward keeping her immune system running well, which can help, too. If she’s in need of extra help, hire senior care providers to take some tasks off her plate. That can allow your senior to focus on taking better care of herself.
If your senior has any health issues that might make her more susceptible to pneumonia, walking or otherwise, make sure that you talk with her doctor about what else you can do. There may be some very specific preventative steps you and your senior can take.