Elderly Flu Complications To Be Aware Of

If you have a senior family member who has not received a flu vaccine this season, then you should urge them to seek out the immunization at a local urgent care facility. These facilities provide flu shots and commonly offer the high dose varieties that are suggested for elderly individuals. If they do not receive the flu shot, then there are some complications that can develop and are common when it comes to the elderly. Keep reading to learn about these complications.


You may know that there is direct link between severe cold and flu viruses and pneumonia. Specifically, bacterial pneumonia is an issue that commonly develops in the elderly. Seniors do not have strong immune systems that are capable of fighting off viral infections quickly. As the infection is being fought, fluid tends to build in the lungs. This makes it difficult for the cilia that line the lung cavities to move bacteria and other foreign debris up and away from the tissues. Bacteria can then infect the lungs.

The accumulation of bacteria are not the only issue when it comes to the development of pneumonia. The ailment is also likely to develop in the elderly due to the way that flu viruses places stress on the immune system. This means that the already weakened body is unable to fight off the infection properly. This is one reason why many elderly people die from pneumonia infections every year. 

Pneumonia infections can often be treated, but the ailment is likely to turn into a long term issue when it comes to older people. 


Elderly individuals are susceptible to dehydration for many reasons. People who are older do not have a strong thirst response any longer. This means that they do not feel thirsty even when they do require fluids. Since fluid is needed in greater amounts when you have the flu, this can cause a potentially serious dehydration issue quite quickly. Also, the elderly are more likely to develop electrolyte imbalance issues, and this is something that can cause fatigue, dizziness, and other issues that can exacerbate flu symptoms. 

If your loved one develops diarrhea or vomits when ill, then this can greatly worsen the dehydration issue. Dehydration can lead to confusion and this is something that can complicate flu issues, especially if your loved one has some form of cognitive decline already like dementia.

If you want to know more about the flu shot and the shot that is best for your loved one, speak to a physician at an urgent care center