Reviews in Clinical Gerontology

Intermediate care and rehabilitation

Pneumonia and influenza – specific considerations in care homes

Adam Gordona1 c1 and Victoria Ewana2

a1 Division of Rehabilitation & Ageing, University of Nottingham Medical School, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK

a2 Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Summary

This review provides an update on current evidence surrounding epidemiology, treatment and prevention of lower respiratory tract infection, with special reference to pneumonia and influenza, in care home residents. The care home sector is growing and provides a unique ecological niche for infections, housing frail older people with multiple co-morbidities and frequent contact with healthcare services. There are therefore considerations in the epidemiology and management of these conditions that are specific to care homes. Opportunities for prevention, in the form of vaccination strategies and improving oral hygiene, may reduce the burden of these diseases in the future. Work is needed to research these infections specifically in the care home setting, and this article highlights current gaps in our knowledge.

(Online publication March 02 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Adam Gordon, Clinical Lecturer in Medicine of Older People, Room B98, Division of Rehabilitation & Ageing, University of Nottingham Medical School, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH. Email: adam.gordon@nottingham.ac.uk