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What You Need to Know About Pneumonia in the Elderly

Pneumonia in elderly

Pneumonia is a respiratory disease that affects seniors more than any other age group. It’s important to always take it very seriously.

Pneumonia in the elderly is an illness that can take several weeks to recover and has a high mortality rate in seniors over the age of 80. If you are thinking about enrolling your parents in a senior living community, remember that these facilities offer health and wellness programs that provide exceptional care for their physical and mental health.

Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo, TX, offers a full range of senior programs and services to allow your parent(s) to live out their golden years in comfort and security. For seniors with pneumonia or other medical conditions, our full-time staff will care for their needs without having to go to another facility. To visit our senior living community and learn more about our health and wellness programs, call 325.313.7931 or fill out our online form today and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

The Dangers of Pneumonia in the Elderly

Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs caused by viral, bacterial, or fungal infections that can appear in one or both lungs. It’s not uncommon for seniors to develop pneumonia in one lung and not the other. Seniors can also develop pneumonia from other infections, including COVID-19, influenza, legionnaire’s disease, and other respiratory infections.

Just some of the symptoms of pneumonia in the elderly include:

  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Low oxygen levels in the blood
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

At Baptist Retirement Community, we provide our residents with a full-time staff of caregivers and medical professionals who are there to help them enjoy their retirement in a comfortable and secure environment. We have different floorplans for seniors of all activity levels. In addition, we provide a full spectrum of care to address their changing needs in one community.

The 4 Stages of Pneumonia in the Elderly

Pneumonia can affect men and women from any age group, but the most susceptible and children and seniors. Seniors who develop pneumonia in both lungs will experience severe symptoms and need extensive medical support to clear the fluids and infection from the lungs safely.

If you are caring for your parents and concerned they have pneumonia, here are the four stages of pneumonia in the elderly:

1. Congestion

During this stage, the lungs begin filling with infectious fluid, causing congestion and difficulty breathing. Symptoms of pneumonia in the elderly at this stage include:

  • Coughing
  • A heavy feeling in the chest
  • Rapid breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

2. Red hepatization

Red blood cells and immune cells enter the lungs to fight the infection and cause the lungs to have a red appearance. As your body begins fighting the infection, symptoms will worsen. Some seniors may experience confusion or delirium during this stage and are at the most risk of a life-threatening situation. If you notice their lips or fingertips turning blue, have a high fever, or have difficulty breathing, call 911 immediately.

3. Grey hepatization

During this stage, symptoms will persist as the red blood cells disintegrate. This leaves the immune cells to continue to fight the infection. The lungs will change from a red to a greyish color.

4. Resolution

Symptoms will begin to diminish as the infection clears. In addition, a persistent cough may develop to help remove any remaining fluid from the lungs. This stage can last for several weeks to months, depending on the severity of the infection and any other medical conditions.

Baptist Retirement Community Offers Seniors Beneficial Health and Wellness Programs for Their Retirement

At Baptist Retirement Community, we provide seniors with a full complement of programs, services, and activities to give them a comfortable and enjoyable retirement. We offer independent and assisted living options with comfortable rooms and apartments that are perfect for all stages of their retirement.

To speak with our friendly staff about our senior living community, call 325.313.7931 today to schedule a tour and talk about your future with us.