Pneumonia is an infection that can happen quite often in the elderly. It can follow another ailment or start on its own. Pneumonia inflames the air sacs of the lungs, causing them to fill up with fluid or pus. It usually causes intense coughing as the body tries to dispel the fluids, and can make breathing quite difficult. Many elderly folks end up in the hospital for monitoring if they have pneumonia, but if your loved one is sent home and needs home care as he recovers, you might find you’ll need someone to help like a skilled nursing care provider.
A skilled nursing care provider can help you with administering medicine and monitoring your loved one’s progress as he recovers. They can be a great resource when you’re not sure if your loved one is improving at a rate you think should happen. They can calm fears as well as let you know when the situation needs more urgent care.
Treatment for pneumonia includes both curing the infection and treating the symptoms. So long as your loved one isn’t in any immediate danger, his doctor will most likely prefer to send him home for treatment rather than have him check into a hospital where other complications can arise.
As your loved one recovers from his pneumonia, you’ll want to make his home environment as comfortable as possible so that he can receive plenty of rest. If his bedroom is on a different floor than the rest of the home, you might even consider moving his bed into an area that puts him close to things he needs most – like the bathroom, kitchen, and even the living area if he’d like to watch movies or television shows as he recovers.
The doctor may send him home with some medications that your skilled nursing care provider can help with administering and monitoring.
Cough medicine. Whether prescription or over-the-counter, the doctor may suggest your loved one take some cough medicine to help reduce the coughing that comes with pneumonia. While coughing is a good way for the body to loosen the phlegm and get it out of the body, it can also exhaust a person, making it impossible to rest and sleep at night.
Antibiotics. These are used to treat bacterial pneumonia. If your loved one takes his prescription for a while and the symptoms don’t improve, his doctor may recommend a different antibiotic.
Fever reducers and pain relievers. If your loved one also has a fever and/or body aches, the doctor may recommend some fever reducers and/or pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help combat these symptoms.
Recovering from pneumonia usually takes lots of rest and patience. It can take several weeks to completely recover, especially from the fatigue that comes along with it. Have your loved one drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, and take his medicine as prescribed, and he should slowly start to show improvement and will be back on his feet soon.