Earlier studies have already linked certain infections to an increased risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. But researchers in this new study found links between antibody levels caused by exposure to infections, including those than can lead to lung inflammation and pneumonia , to worsening cognitive performance.
Taken together, our results suggest that when the most important goal for a resident with advanced dementia is to prolong survival, even if treatment may cause discomfort, then antimicrobial treatment may extend life by as much as 9 months after suspected pneumonia .
When you are caring for a senior with pneumonia, you can expect a recovery time as long as six to eight weeks . This increased recovery time is due to the weakened state of the elderly with the illness and their body’s inability to fight off the bacteria that pneumonia produces in their lungs.
For example, some common signs and symptoms seen in people dying are: profound weakness . a reduced intake of food and fluids. drowsy or reduced awareness. gaunt appearance. difficulty swallowing . bed-bound. needing assistance with all care. disorientation to time or place.
When a person has dementia , their immune system can often be compromised leading them to develop other medical conditions. One of the most common acute conditions that people in the later stages of dementia end up getting is pneumonia .
Pneumonia in the elderly happens fast and the prognosis is poor, and elderly are susceptible to severe Pneumonia . The mortality rate for severe pneumonia is as high as 20% . The principal cause of the death is respiratory insufficiency .
Although generally rare, aspiration pneumonia is unfortunately more common in people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This is because a condition called dysphagia causes difficulties with swallowing, which can make it more likely for them to breathe food and drink in.
Whether the disease is viral or bacterial, pneumonia is treated with rest, nutritious food, and lots of fluids, as well as medication to treat bothersome symptoms like a fever or pain. Viral pneumonia may also be treated with antiviral medications. Bacterial pneumonia is always treated with antibiotics.
Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) often develops in people with long-term conditions such as dementia . Food, drink and even saliva may enter the bronchial tract, potentially leading to: Choking; Aspiration pneumonia.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can be serious in older adults . In the U.S., nearly 250,000 people are hospitalized with pneumonia each year, and about 50,000 die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seniors are at high risk for complications and death.
Recently, the effectiveness of rehabilitative management including physical, pulmonary, and dysphagia rehabilitation for aspiration pneumonia was reported. Several studies showed that early rehabilitation was associated with reduced mortality and early hospital discharge after aspiration pneumonia .
How to Treat Pneumonia in Seniors Rest. Your body is able to fight off germs when you get adequate sleep. Hydration. Keeping your body well hydrated can prevent the build-up of mucus in the lungs. Follow doctor’s orders. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the pneumonia is caused by bacteria.