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Common Infections in Older Adults

Did you know that almost 75% of senior deaths are related to infectious diseases? It is often due to the complexity of finding out and diagnosing these diseases, as the common warning signs of infection materialize vary in the body of a senior adult.

Also, new variants of bacteria are continuously generating a more powerful resistance to an antibiotic, which does not help the existing old immune system of your senior loved ones.

Because of these alarming concerns, all in-home caregivers must familiarize themselves with these infections in the seniors and their symptoms and signs. Moreover, in-home caregivers must know all the available treatments. Home care service is excellent for senior loved ones suffering from infectious diseases.

Listed is a list of the most typical infections you need to know. These common infections that affect the senior population include:

Bacterial Pneumonia

Either virus or bacteria cause pneumonia. When bacteria come into the lungs, it can cause air sacs to fill with fluid or inflamed- making it hard to breathe. The body frequently does not get sufficient oxygen.

Bacterial pneumonia is one of the leading causes of hospitalization in the elderly and can be hard to identify until it turns more severe.

The elderly do not always show common symptoms such as cough or fever. Instead, they may encounter dizziness, loss of appetite, confusion, and weakness. A pneumonia vaccine is available that can help avoid contracting pneumococcal disease.


The flu or influenza is a typical respiratory infection among the senior population. Quick transmission of influenza happens when someone sneezes or coughs, especially in areas such as hospitals and nursing facilities of seniors.

Seniors can get aid from a high-dose influenza vaccine to lower the risk of infection and reduce the gravity of symptoms. Just like pneumonia, a senior may not display a cough or high fever. You can watch out for changes in attitude, behavior, weakness or lethargy, and confusion.

Skin Infections

The tiniest scrape, cut, or skin ulcer can be a way for germs and bacteria to cause infection. Moisture and contact also reproduce infection. Older adults should routinely check their skin for usual marks, rashers, ulcers and be keen on redness, itching, or pain. Shingles, MRSA, and foot infections are the most common skin infections.

To help stop skin infections, proper personal hygiene and regular hand-washing are vital. After taking baths, you should thoroughly dry the skin; so moisture does not get trapped and clean and bandage your scrapes and cuts.

Urinary Tract Infections

While the younger population often observe pain or burning sensation when they urinate as warning signs of urinary tract infection (UTI), for older adults, it may display as confusion, sudden incontinence, weight loss, loss of appetite. If left untreated, UTIs can be severe and lead to hospitalization.

Yet, you can take medication, such as antibiotics in clearing up the infection if caught early. Drinking plenty of fluids and keeping proper hygiene can help lower the risk. In addition, avoiding salty and unhealthy food helps prevent UTI.

Therefore, eat healthy meals. For in-home caregivers, it is better to give them nutritious meals and involve them in meal preparation.

Gastrointestinal Infections

Many healthy bacteria dwell in the stomach, but sometimes unhealthy bacteria can be present, too. This bacteria often comes from undercooked food or contaminated water and can cause vomiting, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and fever.

Yet, it can also occur as a result of taking antibiotics, which eats up healthy bacteria. It is essential to stay hydrated to help recovery and lessen complications. Regular hand-washing before eating and after restroom break and ensuring the food is thoroughly cooked can help avoid gastrointestinal infection.


In-home care services can help lower the risk of infections by aiding senior loved ones. By keeping cleaner surroundings, proper hygiene, and cooking and storing meals well can reduce the risk of infection. An in-home caregiver can also be the eyes to identify changes in attitude, behaviors, appetite, mental state, and overall health status to detect possible infections earlier.

At Senior Buddies, train caregivers to recognize the red flag of infections. It is an excellent idea to have someone with your senior loved one who looks after them when the family caregiver needs a break. In addition, our in-home caregivers are licensed, knowledgeable, informative, and compassionate.

Senior Buddies offer quality customer service in areas of Dallas and surrounding communities. You can visit their website to learn how they support senior loved ones. Let them help fight infection and keep the well-being of your loved ones.