Did you know … seniors exhibit atypical symptoms for COVID-19

By Elizabeth Downing | Did You Know

Apr 28

We want to provide you with information that may help you and your family. Here’s some information about what to watch with our loved ones during this uncertain time.

Did you know …

Symptoms of COVID-19 might exhibit differently in the senior population than in younger age groups. This has to do with how older bodies respond to illness and infection. While we are watching for fever, cough, and shortness of breath as common symptoms, seniors may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • May seem “off” or not acting like themselves early on in the infection
  • May sleep more than usual
  • May stop eating
  • May seem apathetic or confused and not oriented to their surroundings
  • May become dizzy and fall
  • May stop speaking
  • May simply collapse
  • May become suddenly incontinent
  • Other atypical symptoms may include delirium, falls, fatigue, lethargy, low blood pressure, painful swallowing, fainting, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and the loss of smell and taste.

If someone has chronic illnesses, these can mask or interfere with signs of any infection. Some seniors have altered cough reflexes, especially if they have chronic pulmonary or neurological issues. If someone has cognitive decline, they may not be able to communicate the symptoms they are experiencing, i.e. dizziness, disorientation, inability to speak.

We all need to stay aware and alert to these symptoms in order to get someone tested early and to be sure anyone coming into the home is using appropriate PPE for their own and the senior’s protection. If someone exhibits unusual symptoms for a couple of days, reach out to your physician with questions and request an evaluation and possible testing. Want to know more? Check out this article: https://khn.org/news/seniors-with-covid-19-show-unusual-symptoms-doctors-say/

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