Pneumonia and Symptoms in Seniors

Sometimes, symptoms of pneumonia may be different in seniors. Elderly adults with pneumonia may have a low-grade fever or even a normal temperature. They may also be less alert, show signs of confusion, or experience changes in mental awareness. I remember my mother showed such characteristics. She felt “ok”, but had a minor temperature and was confused. If you suspect your elderly parents have pneumonia, call a doctor promptly.

Pneumonia can be quite serious in the elderly population. Adults 65 and older are more susceptible to pneumonia than younger people. Seniors with pneumonia are also at increased risk for hospitalization, complications, and death.

Pneumonia in elderly adults can often progress quickly. In fact, pneumonia is the second leading cause for hospitalization of Medicare beneficiaries, and most of the people who die from pneumonia each year are elderly adults. The death rate among elderly adults with severe pneumonia is as high as 20%.

Researchers and doctors don’t fully understand why pneumonia is more aggressive in seniors. They believe it has to do with the normal aging process, which weakens the immune system and decreases lung function. Older adults may also have other underlying health conditions that can make the infection more severe, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart disease.

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website:

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