Influenza, commonly known as flu, is very common amongst elderly people. Influenza is caused by a viral infection and is most common in the winter months. Older people are more vulnerable to influenza because their immune systems are often not as strong as younger people’s.

Symptoms of influenza

Many of the symptoms of flu are similar to those associated with the common cold but they may often be more severe; these include:

  • Soaring temperature
  • Aching muscles
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Generally feeling unwell
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat

Treating flu

Younger people often shrug flu off within a period of about a week by taking medication to ease symptoms and getting plenty of rest; however, flu can have a much more severe effect on older people as it may contribute to more serious health conditions such as pneumonia and chest infections. Elderly people with symptoms of flu should see their GP as quickly as possible to prevent complications; they are often prescribed antiviral medication and told to rest and get plenty of fluids. People that are vulnerable to flu (including the elderly) are usually advised to have a vaccination to protect against flu.

Guide to Elderly Health

Elderly health Intro



Eye health

Getting help

Heart problems



Mental health issues


Staying healthy