The flu is much more than just a little cough and some sniffles. In fact, many senior citizens that have the flu get very sick from it. One of the reasons for this is because a lot of senior citizens have a weaker immune system than younger adults do. If you or elder care aides are caring for your elderly loved one, it is important to know more about the flu.
Signs/Symptoms of the Flu
There are different signs and symptoms of the flu that you, your elderly loved one, and their elder care providers should know about. Some of the signs and symptoms that your elderly loved one might have if they get the flu include the following:
- Aches and pains
- Weakness throughout their body
- Chest discomfort
It is also important to note that the flu is different than a common cold. The common cold will likely present itself with congestion, coughing, a sore throat, a runny nose, and sneezing. If it seems that your elderly loved one has the flu, you or their elder care providers should keep a close eye on them. Complications could arise that require medical attention.
Flu Complications to Watch For
There are many elderly people who get very sick or even die from having the flu. This is why it is essential for people who have moderate to severe flu cases to get medical attention. Some of the flu complications that you should watch out for in your elderly loved one include the following:
- Bronchitis (mucus while coughing, chest pain, fever, trouble breathing, and fatigue)
- Pneumonia (nausea, vomiting, lower body temperature, confusion, and delirium
- Ear infections
- Brain swelling (confusion and loss of consciousness)
- Heart issues
- Worsened asthmas
While your elderly loved one might not have all of these symptoms or conditions, they could have one or a combination of them. If you or an elder care provider recognize any of these complications going on with your elderly loved one, be sure they get medical attention right away.
Tips for Your Elderly Loved One and Their Elder Care Aides to Prevent the Flu
You can help your elderly loved one to prevent the flu, as well. Some of the things that can be done for flu prevention include the following:
- Getting the flu vaccine
- Regular hand-washing
- Exercising daily
- Eating healthy foods
- Keeping stress levels to a minimum
- Staying out of big crowds
If your elderly loved one does these things, they will have a lower risk of getting the flu.
Now that you have more information regarding the flu, you can keep an eye on your elderly loved one. If it seems they do have the flu, you should call their doctor to see if they need an appointment. If complications arise, be sure you or an elder care provider get your loved one medical attention right away.