What causes upper respiratory infections in seniors?
Upper respiratory infections can be caused by viruses or bacteria, oftentimes spread by person-to-person contact. It’s important to note that if your elderly loved one has an upper respiratory infection that’s caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t have any effect on the illness.
- Frequently wash his or her hands
- Avoid large gatherings
- Stay away from individuals who are sick
- Disinfect frequently touched household surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs and remote controls
If left untreated
As noted above, seniors’ weakened immune systems place them at a greater risk of developing complications from an upper respiratory infection. These complications can be quite serious. An untreated infection, for example, could spread to the brain and cause encephalitis or meningitis, or to the heart and cause myocarditis or pericarditis. And in some cases, a viral infection could make it easier for bacteria to invade the airways, leading to a secondary bacterial infection. Plus, individuals with an underlying chronic lung disease, such as asthma or COPD, could experience a worsening of that condition.
To arrange for one of our skilled mobile teams to visit your elderly loved one, contact DispatchHealth today. You can request a visit over the phone, on our app, or through our website.