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What Are the Risk Factors for Pneumonia?

Caregiver in Beaverton OR: Risk Factors for Pneumonia


Pneumonia is a type of infection that occurs in the lungs. Typically, what happens is that the lungs become inflamed and then fill with fluid, which makes breathing much more difficult. The infections that cause pneumonia can be bacterial or viral in nature. Some people never even realize that they’re sick with pneumonia until they become incredibly ill.

Smokers Are at Huge Risk for Pneumonia

People who smoke are at huge risk for a great many health issues. Smoking keeps your senior’s lungs in an unhealthy state and leaves them vulnerable to infection. If your senior smokes, she’s also likely to have more than the typical amount of mucus in her lungs, which can easily become trapped and can help to foster infections. Talk to your senior about whether she’s ready to give up smoking or not at this stage.

People Who Have Trouble Swallowing

There’s a particular type of pneumonia called aspiration pneumonia. This type of pneumonia happens when fluids from the stomach or from the mouth enters the lungs and creates an infection. If your senior has trouble swallowing, it’s much easier for her to aspirate food and fluids. Any time your elderly family member eats or drinks something and it “goes down the wrong pipe,” it’s worth talking to her doctor to make sure that she’s not at risk of developing pneumonia.

Older Adults and Hospitalized Adults

People in the hospital are already vulnerable to infection and may even have a compromised immune system as well. They’re also in a place where many people are sick, so it’s a lot easier to pick up germs that can settle in the lungs. Your senior’s risk for developing pneumonia increases if she’s hospitalized and is receiving breathing assistance. Talk to your senior’s doctor about what her risks are while she’s hospitalized and what can be done to help her to avoid pneumonia.

People with Certain Health Issues

Having other health issues, particularly chronic health issues, makes your senior more vulnerable in general to other illnesses. If your elderly family member has asthma or COPD, her risk of developing pneumonia is even greater. Other health issues that can affect your senior’s ability to fend of pneumonia can include heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.

Pneumonia can be difficult for your elderly family member to recover from, especially if she continues to get sick. Hiring senior care providers can be an excellent solution because they can help to make sure that she’s resting and eating well as she heals.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Tigard, OR, please contact the caring staff at Integrity In-Home Care. Call today (503) 660-3755