It has and will continue to be stated that the elderly among us are the most vulnerable group to the deadly coronavirus contagion. However, as we continue to see the constant rise in cases, doctors are learning that the COVID-19 symptoms in senior citizens appear very different from that of the other patients. In a report from Dr. Camille Vaughn, the section chief of geriatrics and gerontology at Emory University, she said that, with many of the other conditions and health concerns, the elderly do not typically present their symptoms in the same way, and this is showing to be the same for COVID-19.
The reason that coronavirus symptoms appear different for aging adults has a lot to do with how elderly bodies cope and respond to illnesses and infections. As people continue to age, their immune system response could very well be diminished and their ability to normalize temperature may be altered. Also, there are others whether from an age-related change or a previous neurologic issue, like a stroke may very well have altered cough reflexes and then those that have cognitive impairment might not be capable of communicating the symptoms they have.
They Appear ‘Off’
Cognitive impairment is one of the atypical COVID-19 symptoms seen in the elderly. According to Vaughn, a person may just be having a bad day, however, if it is realized that they have been having several bad days consecutively, then by all means contact their primary medical caregiver or even the local health hotline, in order to find out if they meet the criteria for receiving a coronavirus test.
A headache could mean that you are a bit dehydrated, however, it could also mean that it is a silent sign of coronavirus infection. This could be classified as an early sign of the virus as mild headaches could become way more intense and then more clear-cut signs of the virus could develop such as a cough or fever. A mild headache the goes away might not be a red flag, but if an elderly person tells you that they have had a headache for a few days, get it checked out immediately.
Sleeping More Than Usual
Self-quarantine and stay at home orders could have likely been the catalyst to an upsurge in nationwide naps. However, if the elderly person is seen to be sleeping much more than normal, which could be a definite atypical symptom of COVID-19. According to a geriatrician at the University of Lausanne Hospital Center in Switzerland, who conducted a study on the coronavirus symptoms in aging adults documented that lethargy and fatigue were among the symptoms of the virus.
Lack Of Appetite
In the elderly, a serious lack of appetite is yet another concern relating to the coronavirus, as stated by research. To make matters even worse, the resulting lack of protein and fuel will weaken their already compromised immune system.
Feeling Depressed or Apathetic
Seniors that find themselves isolated due to the coronavirus could become depressed or apathetic, which could be intensified by not receiving as much assistance with essential needs such as medication management from close relatives who are now staying away and keeping their distance.
Becoming Dizzy Or Disoriented
Many medical professionals have seen elderly patients with coronavirus display signs of profound disorientation and confusion, the virus can make you feel very faint and the body weak, especially when you are combatting a virus that you do not know you have. The symptoms were quite similar to patients who have suffered from strokes. Reports of elderly persons not being able to function through the day, or to organize themselves by planning what to do were very common. They have also seen aging adults with COVID-19 who could not support themselves physically, for instance, when they stand to walk, they would collapse and possibly injure themselves in a really bad way, after feeling dizzy or faint. This was most common in elderly persons that presented underlying issues like high blood pressure and diabetes.
They Are Not Speaking
In many cases of elderly persons with the coronavirus, persons have been incapable of speech. When they are tested, it is discovered that what is creating these changes is a central nervous system effect of COVID-19.
Your digestive system is also quite important to consider, if an aging adult is complaining of stomach pains, you should get it checked as gastrointestinal problems could also be a sign of the coronavirus. Approximately thirty percent of those tested in a study published in Gastroenterology had gastrointestinal problems as a result of the COVID-19 illness, twelve had diarrhea and twenty percent complained about vomiting.
A Case Of The Shakes
Due to the fact that this is a very common symptom among many other viruses, is the head reason that it is so silent. However, it is a definite sign that you might have a fever, as it occurs as your body is trying to normalize its temperature and pushes itself to conserve heat, so your muscles shake as you attempt to produce heat. It is a feeling of cold accompanied by shivering, then followed by a rise in temperature.