‘Quality of Life’ Health Seminar covers Pneumonia & Flu Awareness

A health professional will present a talk titled “Pneumonia and Flu” at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the Terrace Room at the Oak Park Arms retirement community, 408 S. Oak Park Ave. The public is welcome to attend this free event.

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs, usually caused by infection. Bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites can cause pneumonia. Pneumonia is a particular concern if you’re older than 65 or have a chronic illness or impaired immune system. It can also occur in young, healthy people.

Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. Pneumonia often is a complication of another condition, such as the flu. Antibiotics can treat most common forms of bacterial pneumonias, but antibiotic-resistant strains are a growing problem. The best approach is to try to prevent infection.

Pneumonia symptoms can vary greatly, depending on any underlying conditions you may have and the type of organism causing the infection. Pneumonia often mimics the flu, beginning with a cough and a fever, so you may not realize you have a more serious condition.

Common signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:

•    Fever
•    Cough
•    Shortness of breath
•    Sweating
•    Shaking chills
•    Chest pain that fluctuates with breathing (pleurisy)
•    Headache
•    Muscle pain
•    Fatigue

Ironically, people in high-risk groups such as older adults and people with chronic illnesses or weakened immune systems may have fewer or milder symptoms than less vulnerable people do. And instead of having the high fever that often characterizes pneumonia, older adults may even have a lower than normal temperature.

Because pneumonia can be life-threatening, someone with symptoms should see the doctor as soon as possible, especially if there is a persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and unexplained fever — especially a lasting fever of 102 F (38.9 C) or higher with chills and sweating.

The Oak Park Arms is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information call Jill Wagner at 708-386-4040


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