With the change of seasons comes a rise in sickness, especially when it comes to pneumonia. But there are actions that you can take to help prevent pneumonia from happening to you, even if you live in a senior living community. At the Mission at Agua Fria, we want to help you stay healthy this winter. Just because others are getting pneumonia doesn’t mean you will too, especially if you take some preventative steps.
Get the Pneumococcal Vaccine
There’s a vaccine to help prevent pneumonia from occurring, however, it is only recommended for children younger than 2 years old and for all adults over the age of 65. If you fall in this category, then you should receive it. The vaccine isn’t 100 percent successful, but it will help you to better avoid the pneumonia infection than if you don’t receive it. If you’re younger than 65, there are still other things you can do to prevent pneumonia.
Get the Flu Vaccine
Even if you received the pneumococcal vaccine, you should receive the flu vaccine as well. The flu shot is more widely available, as it’s also given to those younger than 65. As pneumonia can develop after a case of the flu, protecting yourself from the flu is a way to also protect yourself from pneumonia.
Practice Good Hygiene
Washing your hands often, especially before eating or touching your face and after going to the restroom, will help keep you healthy. Be sure to wash your hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer around with you. Both options will help get rid of any germs you may come into contact with.
Wear a Mask
With many already wearing a mask due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is also a good way to prevent pneumonia. If you’re going outside or are going to be in a highly congested area, wearing a mask over your nose and mouth can help protect you from contracting pneumonia from someone else in the vicinity who may have it.
Practice a Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle will keep your immune system stronger, which means that if you come in contact with pneumonia, you can fight it off much more easily. Eating a balanced diet with vegetables and fruit, exercising regularly, and getting ample sleep are all beneficial. Additionally, supplementing all of this with an extra citamin C tablet can help too.
Smoking damages your lungs. As pneumonia affects your lungs, smoking will make you even more susceptible to this disease (as well as other germs). Damaged lungs also cannot recover from pneumonia as quickly as—or fight it off as well as—healthy lungs.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can prevent pneumonia. Making conscious, healthy decisions, practicing good hygiene, and getting vaccinated are all great preventative actions you can take. Additionally, if you know anyone who is sick, especially with pneumonia, avoid contact until they are no longer contagious.