Nursing homes must go above and beyond to keep residents healthy and well. Along with mental well-being, staff at nursing homes must also ensure physical well-being is optimal. This entails reducing the likelihood of infection and illness.
As the Mayo Clinic explains, numerous healthcare facilities, including nursing homes, have a problem with community-acquired pneumonia. Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that affects the lungs and airways. Serious cases often occur in people over the age of 65, which makes preventing its spread all the more important in nursing homes.
A type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of pneumonia. Walking pneumonia, which is a less serious form of the infection, results from Mycoplasma pneumoniae, another type of bacteria. Viruses can also cause pneumonia, but bacterial infections are most common in hospitals and healthcare settings.
When infections are mild, pneumonia causes the same effects as the flu. Cough, fever, nausea, chest pain, and shortness of breath are all likely to occur. Older adults also experience confusion or disorientation, as well as low body temperature.
Older adults have a higher risk of developing more serious pneumonia complications. These include bacterial infections in the bloodstream, fluid build up around the lungs, problems breathing, and lung abscesses.
With bacterial pneumonia, antibiotics are the first line of defense. Other medications, such as cough suppressants and fever reducers, help control symptoms. Older people and those with a higher risk of developing serious complications often receive hospitalization to prevent severe effects.
Because the effects can be damaging, nursing homes should take steps to prevent illness from spreading. Keeping the facility clean, ensuring ill patients are properly cared for, and administering medication as needed should all factor into regular care.