Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a condition that is often thought of as a disease of times past, or something that only affects children. As a family caregiver, however, it is critical that you understand that this is not the case. Each year thousands of people throughout the United States suffer this serious infection, and it frequently occurs in older adults. Not only is the infection itself challenging, potentially causing your parent to suffer episodes of severe coughing for 10 weeks or more, but it makes them more vulnerable to further illnesses and infections. The care that you give your senior as they deal with this disease can make a tremendous difference in how well they are able to get through this sickness and move forward.
Use these tips to help you care for a senior who is suffering from whooping cough:
• Encourage them to get plenty of rest. The body needs sleep to heal and recover, so encourage your parent to rest and sleep as they recover. Ensure that their bedroom is properly cool, dark, and quiet to help them get the best quality of sleep.
• Provide fluids frequently. Your senior might not have much of an appetite when they are going through whooping cough, but it is extremely important that you keep them drinking fluids. Dehydration can occur quickly and be very dangerous in elderly adults. Drinking also helps to make coughing more comfortable and can soothe their throat.
• Choose small, frequent meals. Trade three large meals a day for several small meals that they can eat periodically throughout the day. This not only gives them more energy and strength to fight the infection, but lessens the chances that they will vomit when coughing.
• Practice aggressive germ control. Pertussis is highly contagious and spreads easily. People can contract the infection from someone before they even show symptoms and may not show symptoms for up to 10 days after infection. Practicing aggressive germ control helps to stop you from contracting the infection and spreading it further, as well as protecting your parent from further infection or illnesses.
If you are concerned that your elderly loved one is at particular risk for suffering from whooping cough or another serious health issue, or they are dealing with a condition or disease that increases their vulnerability to such issues, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. A senior home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a customized schedule that is right for their needs, as well as the care that you give them. This means that they will receive the support, assistance, care, and encouragement that they need to address their needs and help them to remain safe, comfortable, healthy, and happy as they age in place. When it comes to protecting your aging parent and helping them to avoid serious health issues, this senior care provider can help your parent to understand the risks that they are facing and what they can do to reduce those risks. They can then support them in remaining compliant with the guidelines and recommendations given to them by their doctor, and in making good lifestyle choices, such as eating a healthy diet, staying active, and keeping up with an aggressive germ control approach. Especially if your senior is or has been suffering from a serious illness such as pertussis, this type of personalized care can allow you to continue to fulfill the other responsibilities and needs in your life while knowing
that your parent is getting everything that they need to manage their condition, avoid further complications and issues, and recover as efficiently as possible.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Cherry Hill, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
Kelly C. McCabe is a founding partner and co-owner of TLC HomeCare Services.She and her business partner,Patti Maltese founded TLC HomeCare Services in March of 2009.In addition to management, marketing and sales, staffing and recruiting, Kelly holds her New Jersey producer’s license in Health and Life insurance and is also a New Jersey Certified Home Health Aide.Kelly is the proud mother of two daughters and is a resident of Moorestown, NJ.