A fever is the body’s way of handling infection, so a low-grade fever isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, in some cases, even a mild fever can be a sign of a serious problem. When should you actually start getting worried about your senior loved one’s fever? There are a few key signs a fever might mean your loved one is dangerously ill.
Dangerously High Fevers
Any fever, regardless of its cause, can end up damaging the body if it gets too high. An extremely high fever can cause dehydration, brain damage, nerve damage, and even death. For most healthy adults, a fever becomes potentially dangerous at around 104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit. However, since seniors are more fragile, they can experience the danger of a high fever before it reaches those levels. Seek medical care if your loved one’s temperature rises above 103 degrees. Even if he or she doesn’t have any other dangerous health problems, the fever alone is enough to be problematic at this point.
Respiratory Illness Symptoms
One of the most common causes of fever is respiratory illness. Infections of the lungs, nose, and sinuses can easily lead to pneumonia and other life-threatening breathing problems. Some subtle signs to look out for include coughing, a runny nose, sneezing, and a decreased sense of smell. Though these symptoms could mean your loved one just has a mild cold, it might also mean he or she is in the early stages of a more dangerous respiratory illness. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get your loved one checked out whenever he or she presents these symptoms with a fever, just in case they develop into something problematic. Typically, a very simple test can tell whether your loved one has a more dangerous type of respiratory illness.
If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elder care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
Accompanying Medical Conditions
A major problem with fevers in seniors is that an elevated temperature almost always means there’s some sort of infection. The slightest infection can cause major problems when a senior is already living with other health problems. Immunocompromised seniors, such as those with cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, need to talk to their doctors immediately if they get a fever. Prompt treatment of the infection can keep it from getting worse and exacerbating other health problems.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Denver senior care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
Signs Emergency Treatment May Be Necessary
Senior health is very complex, so an illness that just causes a light fever one day can rapidly progress to a life-threatening disease. Therefore, it’s useful to recognize the signs a fever has turned into something serious. It’s important to get medical help right away if a fever is accompanied by difficulty breathing, chest pain, disorientation, unusually high blood pressure, headaches, seizures, vomiting, or a rash. These can all be signs the fever is the result of something very serious that requires immediate care.
Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Denver seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (720) 443-3371 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.