When most people think of common illnesses such as the flu, they simply think the illness is the same regardless of who contracts it. While this may be true in many instances, it is not necessarily the case when it comes to evaluating the health of an older adult. In many circumstances, seniors experience illnesses differently than younger people do. As cold and flu season approaches, you may be wondering if your senior may experience the flu in a different way than you expect. As a family caregiver, it is important for you to understand what your parent may face, and be prepared to detect these challenges so you can ensure they get the care and support they need to stay as healthy as possible.
The truth is, seniors do not always experience the flu in the same way as a younger person. This can make it difficult for them, and for you as their family caregiver, to detect when they are experiencing this potentially dangerous illness. The primary problem with this is that it makes it far less likely a senior will seek out proper medical attention and get on an appropriate course of treatment and management. This can result in much higher chances of severe complications, including development of pneumonia.
Your senior may not experience the same symptoms as you might expect from the flu. This can include not getting a fever. They are also more likely to experience other symptoms such as feeling dizzy and losing their appetite. Even if your parent does not “seem like” they have the flu, if they are showing symptoms of illness, do not hesitate to get them to a doctor. Since doctors are statistically less likely to test an elderly adult for the flu, be an advocate. Discuss the risk with the doctor and insist on appropriate testing to ensure your parent gets all of the care they need.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult. Especially if you are in the sandwich generation, caring for both your children and your older adult, you may feel as though there’s always more on your to-do list then you have the time or energy to manage. If you feel this way, senior care can help. A senior home care services provider can step in to fill care gaps, handle challenging or sensitive care tasks, and give you the flexibility you need to focus your energy and attention in the best ways possible. Not only does this ensure your senior can manage their challenges and needs effectively, and experience greater independence and fulfillment as they age, but it can also promote better quality of life and less stress for you. This results in higher quality of life for both your aging parent, and you.
If you or someone you know needs senior care in Marshall, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.