With proper rest and medication, those infected with pneumonia can speed up their recovery process. The best place for your elderly loved one to recover is in the comfort of their home. Because the elderly and children can be stricken with certain pneumonia viral strains that take longer to recover from initial treatment should be sought by a doctor so that the proper medications can be prescribed. In some cases seniors may need to spend time in the hospital before returning home.
Medications prescribed for pneumonia are oral antibiotics taken for about ten days. Antibiotics have a high cure rate for pneumonia caused by bacteria. It is important for those stricken with pneumonia to be diligent in taking their medication even if they start to feel better. Taking medication improperly can cause the bacteria to build up a resistance to it.
For those infected with pneumonia coughing can become painful. While recovering, seniors should reduce their activity. Increased activity can weaken a patient and also irritate the lungs. Cigarette smoke and other irritants in the air can also hinder recovery. Patients should avoid smoke and dust. After the antibiotics take effect the patient will feel an improvement in their breathing and will be able to add more activity.
An extra precaution caregivers can take is giving their senior a mask or scarf to cover up with when going outside. In the cold winter months patients should avoid going outside while recovering. While fresh air is healthy, cold air can slow down a patient’s recovery and potentially make matters worse. Instead, a humidifier or sitting in a hot shower can relax the lungs and help clear out the airways.
Avoid giving your senior cough suppressants unless directed by the doctor. A pneumonia cough can be a bit painful, but will help clear the lungs of germs. Instead, some doctors order an expectorant such as guaifenesin and over the counter drug for clearing out airways.
A senior’s temperature should be checked daily. A sudden spike could mean that there are complications. Report any sudden spikes to a doctor as soon as possible. If changes are not addressed in a timely manner they can result in a second hospital visit.
To speed up the healing process patients should do breathing exercises to help clear and stretch the lungs. Instruct your senior to take lots of deep breaths. They should inhale as much air as possible and then hold their breath for 5 to 10 seconds. Then they should exhale in a forceful, but steady manner. This should be repeated in repetitions of 10. Take time to help your elderly loved one through breathing exercises at least five times a day.
A healthy young person can recover rather quickly from pneumonia, but seniors need some extra time to start feeling good again. Patients recovering from pneumonia will feel week for some time. Rest is very important; not only to help recovery, but to also avoid relapse or readmission to the hospital. Recovery shouldn’t be rushed.
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