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Reduce Hospital Admission Rates Rochester NY: Pneumonia Care at Home

By: Expert Author Kevin Watkins, Owner and Director at Caring Hearts of Rochester, LLC

Reduce Hospital Readmission RatesPneumonia is one of the most common illnesses that elderly men and women face today and sadly, it is one of the leading causes of death for seniors over 65. Because pneumonia is such a common problem and many seniors end up in the hospital with pneumonia, it is very important for caregivers to know what to look for and how to help with pneumonia care at home.

Pneumonia is a fatal disease for elderly adults. It is a lung infection that can be mild to severe and can change many times throughout the course of the illness becoming severe very quickly, even after the infection seems to have ended.  Many seniors, especially those who are frail, cannot clear their lungs so the mucus secretions end up in the bronchial tubes and cause infection. This reduces the amount of oxygen that enters the lungs and seniors can get extremely ill. In some cases, bacteria can enter the blood and cause even more problems.

Once seniors have been to the hospital for pneumonia care, it is important to provide proper pneumonia home care methods to help reduce hospital readmission. To avoid readmission, seniors and their caregivers need to be able to recognize the risks for pneumonia. Seniors with weak immune systems, asthma, COPD, Parkinson’s disease, heart problems, and diabetes are at a higher risk for pneumonia than other seniors. It is important that they work hard to keep their lungs healthy.

When seniors have surgery, they are at risk for developing pneumonia. Many seniors will take shallow breaths, which can cause mucus to stay in the lungs. Many seniors are given breathing devices to use after surgery so they can practice taking deep breaths and exhaling fully. Loved ones providing pneumonia care at home need to be sure that their loved ones are using the breathing devices on a regular basis.

One of the best ways to prevent pneumonia in elderly people and their caregivers is to get a few different vaccines during the flu season. Most medical professionals recommend seniors get a flu shot each year. Many seniors who get the flu often end up with pneumonia as well. There are also vaccines that will help prevent pneumonia. These vaccines are given once and the vaccine protects against pneumococcus – the bacteria that causes pneumonia. Caregivers, not just seniors, should get the pneumonia vaccine. It is also vital for seniors to regularly exercise so they continue to have healthy lung function. If seniors require some sort of lung therapy for asthma or bronchial problems, that therapy should be conducted as prescribed.

Since hospitals are working hard to reduce hospital readmission rates, caregivers who notice signs of pneumonia should call their loved one’s primary care physician immediately. In many cases, a visiting nurse will come to the home to help prevent the need to bring the loved one to the emergency room.

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Kevin Watkins

Caring Hearts of Rochester was founded by John Hunt and Kevin Watkins. Kevin and John met when they were in the same Boy Scout Troop in their youth. They chose different career paths before forming Caring Hearts.
Kevin and his wife, Candy, lived in Naples, Florida for 10 years, where three of their four children were born. He was recruited to the insurance industry by a colleague who felt his personality would benefit people with needs. The insurance industry became a big part of their lives. He evaluated peoples’ risks, working with property and casualty, and life products, and later began to underwrite Long Term Care insurance as people were beginning to plan for their futures. He started two agencies, then bought a third. In his last three years before selling his third agency, he was ranked in the top 10%, top 5% & then top 1% nationally out of the more than 12,500 Allstate agencies in the U.S. at the time. Kevin’s success can be accredited to his kind nature and his genuine desire to help individuals and families with their needs. He feels very at home meeting with people and discussing their needs, a trait that has been very helpful in his continued success with Caring Hearts of Rochester. Kevin returned to Rochester in 2006 to introduce their young children to snow and to be closer to his extended family.

After having returned to Rochester from their careers in other states, John and Kevin reconnected. Alzheimer’s had afflicted both of their families, and they had both experienced and witnessed the challenges associated with the role of being a caregiver. Kevin’s and John’s collective experiences complemented their desire to work with families and individuals in need. They founded Caring Hearts of Rochester and have since been able work in a capacity that has become a passion for them. They are both Certified Senior Advisors (CSA), a designation earned through education, study and experience in the Elderly and Geriatric Care Profession. Their number one concern is providing their senior clients with ethical and effective services and products. Caring Hearts of Rochester is associated with numerous local affiliations for the elderly in the Upstate NY area including Lifespan, Eldersource, and the Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly.

As the co-founders and hands-on managers of Caring Hearts of Rochester, we thank you for this opportunity to tell you about our passion. We are responsible for the services we offer, for the people we hire, for the training they receive, for the quality and reliability of the services our team delivers to you and your loved ones. Give us a call so that we may learn more about you and your needs at (585) 861-CARE(2273)

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