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What Are The Most Common Infections in the Elderly?

SeniorsIn each stage of Human life there is corresponding difficulties. In terms of stages of physical development, it appears that it is the infancy or toddler stage and elderly stage that is most vulnerable to infections. The same is true with respect to psychological stages.

It appears that in both physical and psychosocial development stages of human life, the elderly appears to be more vulnerable to infections since elderlies’ immune system is deteriorating.  Considering that mobility is an important factor as a form of exercise to prevent any infections or sickness, elderlies are very vulnerable to sickness due to immobility and as an effect of the natural deterioration of the body system.

The following are the common infections in the elderly:

URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS

Due to immobility and normal deteriorating response to the elderly’s body, the urinary function also deteriorates. And considering that urination is a process of eliminating body wastes in a form of urine, any impairment to the process would result to exposure to infections. In a human’s urinary tract, the urine should be voided regularly in order to flush out some bacteria that may result to infections.

Urinary Tract Infections can be managed through medicines like the broad-spectrum antibiotics. This kind of infection is caused mainly of bacteria; hence, antibiotics is the proper remedy. In terms of natural remedies, increasing the fluid intake will help a lot since it will promote urination and hence, it will flush out the bacteria that cause the infection. Mobility like proper exercise is also very helpful to keep up the body system well-functioning.

SKIN INFECTIONS

Skin infections may result to some other accompanying illness that causes immobility like diabetes or paralyses. Once the body is immobile, sores will then result and will further expose the elderly’s body to skin infections. Another thing worth noting is the fact that elderly’s immune system is not as good as when they were still young. Hence, any break in the skin accompanied by low immune system will result to high vulnerability to infections.

In skin infections anti-bacterial and anti-fungal topical medicines may be used to treat it. It is important also to consider the proper hygienic practice as a way of preventing the infection as well as to alleviate the symptoms. Having a pack of medical grade disinfecting wipes in a pocket can become a very useful habit

Regular intake of Vitamin C would also help for faster infection healing. Proper exercise is also important.

PNEUMONIA AND INFLUENZA

Elderly’s exposure to bacteria may result to respiratory infections like pneumonia. The defense mechanism of the elderly’s body is no longer as good as when younger. Hence any invasion of bacteria will result to respiratory infections.

GASTROINTESTINAL INFECTIONS

The most common gastrointestinal infections are ulcer which is primarily caused by bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori. However, studies show that there are some factors that would affect the said infections such as smoking, drinking caffeinated drinks, stress and any acidic food that would affect the Gastrointestinal system.

In Gastrointestinal diseases, one important thing to consider is to treat the very cause of the infection. Additional remedy would be to stop the intake of caffeinated beverages, smoking and to make sure that the food is well prepared. Adequate rest is also required.

Temperature Can Affect Infection Rate

Another important solution applicable to all common infection in elderly is giving great emphasis on the elderly’s environmental temperature. Depending on the temperature of the elderly’s residence, the heating and air-conditioning for elderly is very important thing to consider. Considering that elderly is less tolerant to sudden temperature changes, the temperature management is an important factor to prevent infections.

The person’s tolerant to heat or cold depends on his skin texture, say for instance African Americans are more tolerant to hot temperatures.  However, by the advent of technology, temperature management is now easy. In hot countries, air-conditioners are now available, hence, temperature could be well managed. The same is true in places where the weather is cold, heaters are available to manage the temperature.

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