Infections contribute to nearly one third of all deaths for seniors above 65. Active infection is a difficulty not only for the senior citizens undergoing infectious diseases, but also a big challenge for health care professionals. It is therefore crucial for doctors like physiotherapists who look after older adults to speculate and identify challenges to control infection in older adults and prevent it. One should always take special precautions when around seniors. In this blog, we will guide you on everything you should keep in mind to prevent infections in the elderly.
What are the types of Infections?
The most harmful infections common in the elderly are skin infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and infectious diseases like influenza and pneumonia. Even more troublesome is the risk of getting sepsis that gets developed when other infections begin to appear.
Sepsis is a serious overreaction of the body to an infection, which develops rapidly and causes a lot of damage extensively. About 70 percent of hospitalized sepsis cases are older adults and about one-third of sepsis patients worldwide succumb to death. This condition is so harmful that it can restrict blood flow to the organs, leading to improper functioning.
How To Prevent the Spread of Infection?
There are several ways seniors can prevent infections and make sure it doesn’t spread. And the types of precautions seniors put into practice will largely depend on the type of infection. However, here are some necessary tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from infections.
1. Remember to wash hands frequently
Washing hands for a minimum 20 seconds and cleaning with germ-free soap is very important. Remember to scrub in between your fingers and around your fingernails. Make it a habit to wash your hands before eating, after using the restroom, if you touch your face or after coming into direct contact with someone. If you aren’t able to wash your hands due to any possible reasons, remember to carry a hand sanitizer and use it whenever you can.
2. Wear protective equipment
When dealing with specific infections, you may need to consider using personal protective equipment. These kinds of equipment include face masks, face shields, gowns, socks, gloves, and more. For example:- Wear a mask or shield if you’re around someone who can spread infections through coughing or sneezing or wear gloves in case the other person has a skin infection.
3. Sanitize necessary surfaces and touchpoints
An anti-bacterial solution is good for cleaning surfaces in the intensive care environment. Hard and flat surfaces are more prone to sources of infection than soft surfaces. Make sure to wipe down other common areas that people may have touched because these are said to be hot spots for spreading infections.
4. Get yourself vaccinated
With aging, the body’s immune system goes weaker. It’s always good to get vaccinated against infections. There is a flu vaccine available every year, and now the COVID-19 vaccine is also mandatory for all. These vaccines can keep yourself and your loved ones protected from contracting and spreading harmful infections.
5. Get professional help
One of the major hazards for older adults is infection is that it can debilitate and harm an otherwise healthy individual if left untreated. Make sure to get professional help with any medical care as mistakes can happen and could cause a more severe infection. You can also ask for a home health provider for help or guidance during the infection process.
The above-mentioned tips will help prevent infections and help seniors control it. At our retirement community, we have on-call doctors and nurses who assist you in every step be it any sort of ailment. We even look out for professional help for our residents in case of any emergency. You can give us a call at +91 91766 77770 to get a more clear picture about our The Chennai Homes community.