Pneumonia is an umbrella description of a variety of different types of lung infections. Those infections might be caused by viruses or by bacteria. What they have in common is that your senior’s lungs respond by filling with fluid to try to remove the infection. Left untreated, pneumonia keeps getting worse, so it’s essential to be able to recognize the symptoms so you can get medical help for your senior right away.
She’s Got a Fever
A fever is your first sign that there’s an infection of any sort. But in older adults, you might not notice your senior feeling hot. Her body temperature may actually be lower than normal when she’s got a fever, which can be confusing the first few times you encounter that situation.
She’s Experiencing Chest Pains
People with pneumonia often experience chest pains. This is something she’s most likely to notice when she’s breathing or coughing. What she’s feeling is the inflammation in her lungs due to fluid collecting and taking up more space. Your senior might mistake this for heart pain, especially if she’s not noticing other symptoms.
If your elderly family member is feeling more tired than usual in addition to other symptoms, the culprit may well be a lung infection. When your senior is fighting off a large infection, her entire body is going to feel drained. All of her resources are at work fighting the germs.
She’s Short of Breath
Because there’s fluid collecting in your senior’s lungs, her alveoli are not able to transfer oxygen into her blood system as efficiently as they did before. There’s likely also not a lot of room for air to enter her lungs. All of these can contribute to shortness of breath.
She’s Got a Cough
You might think that a cough would be the first and best symptom of pneumonia, but a lot of people who have pneumonia never develop a pronounced cough. If your elderly family member has a cough for a few days that is not productive and that doesn’t seem to go away, it’s worth talking to her doctor.
Recovering from pneumonia can take a lot out of your senior. She may need help with normal activities that aren’t usually difficult for her. Hiring home care providers can be a way to ensure that your senior has some help when she needs it. They can also watch for signs that her condition is getting worse instead of better.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Albany, MN please contact the caring staff at Alternative Senior Care today. Providing Home Care in Central Minnesota and Surrounding Communities. Call us Today (320) 352-3350
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