3 Ways to Help a Loved One with COPD Avoid Pneumonia
Caregiver in Princeton NJ
It’s incredibly frightening as a family caregiver of someone who has COPD to hear a diagnosis of pneumonia. In some cases, your loved one might not even seem all that ill yet. Left unchecked, however, pneumonia can lead to a hospital stay.
Practice Good Hygiene
You may not think that good hygiene, in particular handwashing, is all that important, but it really is. Viruses and bacteria are what ultimately cause pneumonia, so stopping them in their tracks can keep them from infecting your loved one. Handwashing and good hygiene are important for your loved one, of course, but they’re especially important for you and for anyone else who helps care for your loved one. You don’t have to get fancy, either. Plain old soap and water used often can do the job effectively.
Get Pneumonia and Flu Vaccinations
Being vaccinated against both pneumonia and the flu can help your loved one to avoid both. This is especially important if your loved one does have COPD because his lungs are already compromised. Your loved one’s doctor can recommend a vaccination schedule for your loved one that you can follow. It’s a good idea for you to also get vaccinated against both the flu and pneumonia. Your body may be able to fight off these infections, but you can still carry the germs to your loved one unknowingly. Getting vaccinated can help to lower that risk.
Talk to Your Loved One’s Doctor
Your loved one may have some specific risk factors that can increase the risk of him developing pneumonia. Talking with your loved one’s doctor about these risk factors can help you learn how to reduce that risk. If your loved one has issues with inhaled corticosteroids, for example, his doctor may need to find an alternate treatment method for your loved one. Your loved one’s doctor may also recommend pulmonary therapy to help strengthen your loved one’s lungs, therefore also reducing the risk of developing pneumonia.
Helping your loved one to stay overall more healthy can help his immune system to fight off germs that can cause pneumonia, so exercise and a healthy diet are also key.