Legionnaires’ Disease – How Do Seniors Get It?

Legionnaires’ disease is not common, It’s estimated that an average of 14,000 men and women in the U.S. contract the disease each year. About 10 percent of those who contract the dangerous form of pneumonia dies from it.


Caregiver in Anaheim CA: Seniors And Legionnaires' Disease

Caregiver in Anaheim CA: Seniors And Legionnaires’ Disease


Why Do Some Seniors Get Legionnaires’ Disease?

To get Legionnaires’, you must have been exposed to the moisture tainted with Legionella bacteria. Common sources of the infected water are indoor water features and fountains, air conditioning systems in an apartment or business complex, or contained water systems in hotels, hospitals, and ships. Seniors living in an assisted living complex that has central air conditioning, swimming pools, and/or hot tubs is one of the many ways it spreads.


Risk Factors for Legionnaires’

Several risk factors are present. It’s more common in those who are over the age of 50. There’s also a higher risk in those who currently smoke or have smoked in the past, People with a weakened immune system or who currently have a lung disease are at a higher risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease.

If your mom or dad has a disease or health condition that requires regular use of corticosteroids, the risk of getting Legionnaires’ is greater. Keeping your parent out of situations where the disease is possible is often advisable. If your mom or dad do like to use hot tubs or public pools, ask the facility to detail the steps they take to make sure the water is cleaned properly.


Symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease

This form of pneumonia finds symptoms appearing as quickly as two days after exposure to water containing Legionella bacteria. Common symptoms include chills, fever, headache, and muscle aches. At this point, it’s important to go to the doctors. Make sure your parent knows to tell his or her doctor about living conditions, time spent in a hot tub, or any travel on a ship.

After a few days, symptoms may progress and make it clear that pneumonia is present. These symptoms include a cough with mucus and even blood, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Left untreated, the disease may affect the kidneys, cause septic shock, or lead to respiratory failure.

When Legionnaires’ is found, antibiotics are the recommended treatment. Your mom or dad will need to take it easy during the recovery. Elderly care services can help them keep up with housework and laundry. Caregivers can also remind them to eat and drink and take their prescription medications. Learn more about elderly care options near you.

If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring a caregiver in Anaheim, CA, please talk to the caring staff at Penny Lane Senior Care. Call today: (626) 335-9333