Recovery from Pneumonia in Elderly People Recovery will likely take at least one to three weeks but can take longer. Sometimes pneumonia that appeared to be gone comes back. When caring for a senior who has pneumonia, watch for any new or worse symptoms and report them to a doctor right away.
Recovery of pneumonia in older adults can be a long process. According to one 2017 article, although some recover in 6 weeks, it may take as long as 12 weeks for others. It is important to rest for as long as possible during recovery. The fever should have resolved.
Pneumonia in the elderly happens fast and the prognosis is poor, and elderly are susceptible to severe Pneumonia. The mortality rate for severe pneumonia is as high as 20% . The principal cause of the death is respiratory insufficiency .
Pneumonia can be life-threatening to seniors exposed to bacteria, viruses, or fungi. It is most dangerous for people older than age 65 because seniors tend to have health issues or weakened immune systems.
Pneumonia and its complications can wreak havoc on a person’s lungs and body. And, it can take anywhere from one to six months for a person to recover and regain strength after being hospitalized for pneumonia.
Most seniors who develop pneumonia recover from it. But how long it takes to recover depends on many factors, including what bacteria or virus caused it and whether the person is frail or has additional health conditions that make recovery more difficult.
What are the signs someone is approaching end of life?
Stages of Pneumonia
Most people do eventually recover from pneumonia. However, the 30-day mortality rate is 5 to 10 percent of hospitalized patients. It can be up to 30 percent in those admitted to intensive care.
Pneumonia that does not respond to treatment poses a clinical dilemma and is a common concern. If patients do not improve within 72 hours, an organism that is not susceptible or is resistant to the initial empiric antibiotic regimen should be considered.
Some cases of pneumonia in older adults can be treated at home. However, depending on your symptoms and overall health, it’s also possible that you may be hospitalized. Antibiotics are used to treat pneumonia that’s caused by bacteria.
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:
As a general guide, after:
If your pneumonia isn’t treated, the pleura can get swollen, creating a sharp pain when you breathe in. If you don’t treat the swelling, the area between the pleura may fill with fluid, which is called a pleural effusion. If the fluid gets infected, it leads to a problem called empyema.
One reason that it takes so long for people to recover from pneumonia is because of all of the byproducts and debris that is left behind in the lung tissue. While antibiotics help kill the bacteria, your body’s internal weaponry must then work to clear your lungs.
To complement and extend these findings, we have added evidence that walking for >1 h daily can reduce pneumonia-related mortality even among older people who lack other exercise habits.