Why is Respiratory Syncytial Virus a Concern in the Elderly?

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the more common respiratory illnesses. Most people have had it by the age of two. As you age, your immune system slows down. This makes it harder for your system to fight the virus.

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases claims the virus is fatal in approximately 14,000 senior citizens every year. It also leads to hospitalizations in another 177,000. While it’s a common virus, it’s one that many people haven’t heard of.

Elderly Care in Boca Raton FL: Seniors and RSV

Elderly Care in Boca Raton FL: Seniors and RSV

What Are the Symptoms of  Respiratory Syncytial Virus?

Most people who get RSV experience the same symptoms of a cold. They’ll have congestion, a runny nose, and a cough. They may develop a fever and sore throat. A headache may appear. If the virus becomes severe, it can be hard to breathe, wheezing is often heard during an exhale, and the fever may rise. If oxygen intake is affected, the skin may develop a bluish tinge.

Preventing  Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

After touching a doorknob, register buttons, or other items in a public location, your parents need to wash their hands in hot soapy water. If they don’t have an opportunity, hand sanitizer is a good substitute.

Smoking can aggravate the virus. If your parents smoke, they need to try to stop. If they spend time with smokers, they should limit contact. Another concern is living in a home where a woodstove or pellet stove is used. Try to limit exposure to any smoke while recovering from RSV.

What to Do if Your Parents Become Ill.

If your mom or dad get this virus, one of the bigger issues is that weaker muscles make it hard for seniors to cough hard enough. You don’t want the mucus in the lungs and respiratory tract building up if possible. If they have cardiovascular disease, call a doctor to ask if you should bring them in for a checkup.

Make sure they drink plenty of fluids. Steam can help loosen congestion. If they seem to struggle to get a deep breath, take them to the ER. It’s best to have them checked to see that it hasn’t progressed into pneumonia. Another complication of RSV is that it can lead to asthma.

Your parents should take it easy while they recover. They need a consistent schedule when it comes to staying hydrated. If you can’t monitor them while they’re sick, elderly care services can be beneficial. Caregivers can cook meals or remind your parents to take any prescribed or recommended medications. Learn more about the variety of services by calling an elderly care agency.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Boca Raton, FL, please call the caring staff at Activa Home Health Care at (561) 819-4112.  Serving Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and surrounding communities.