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Date: December 17, 2021

Author: Robert Kreek

Unfortunately, there are many times, especially with elderly people, that the flu turns into an emergency situation. As a family caregiver, it is good to know how to recognize when this is happening. That way, you or a home care assistance provider can get your elderly loved one to the emergency room right away. If needed, 9-1-1 could be called, as well.

Breathing Trouble

One of the signs of an emergency with the flu is breathing trouble. No matter what type of health issue your elderly loved one has, if they are struggling to breath, it is important to get them medical attention. In cases, such as the flu, pneumonia and other problems can arise. The results can be devastating if not treated promptly. If your elderly loved one is gasping for air, choking, or even short of breath, it is vital that you, a home care assistance provider, or an ambulance get them to the hospital.

Abdomen and Chest Pains

Not everyone who has an emergency situation with the flu will experience abdomen and chest pains. Some people won’t have either of these symptoms. Others might have one or the other or both. However, if your elderly loved one is experiencing these symptoms and they have the flu, it is likely they have fluid in their lungs. They need to get emergency medical attention right away.

Dizziness and Confusion

Two other signs that the flu has turned into an emergency for your elderly loved one are dizziness and confusion.

If you or a home care assistance provider notice your loved one has suddenly become dizzy after being diagnosed with the flu, it is crucial to get them to the hospital. The dizziness may happen when they are sitting down, standing up, or even when walking.

Your elderly loved one may become confused, as well. There are numerous reasons why this might be happening. It could be due to pneumonia or severe symptoms that are causing confusion. No matter why it is happening, your elderly loved one likely needs immediate medical attention.


The flu can turn into an emergency situation. Unfortunately, this is quite common for senior citizens. However, now that you know what to watch out for, there is a better chance that your elderly loved one will be able to get the help they need if things do get worse when they have the flu.


Date: December 17, 2021