You might not know this, but shingles is actually very common. Over half of all Americans will have had it by the time they reach age 80. If you aren’t familiar with shingles, it’s a painful disease of the skin that’s basically the chicken pox coming back, and usually only affects one side of your body. This type of virus is one that you have for life, and it just stays inactive until your immune system is down for a time. This is why elderly people most often get shingles because of their other health problems. If your senior parent is showing signs of shingles or the pain of it is impacting their daily life, then it’s time to do something about it. Keep reading to find out more about shingles and how you can help.
Effects of Having Shingles
An elderly person can experience debilitating pain with this condition. Most outbreaks of shingles can start on the eyes or face, causing vision and hearing problems. Be aware that untreated shingles can lead to permanent scarring from the open sores if they get infected. If your mother or father is having problems sleeping and having a lot of pain they could start becoming withdrawn and depressed.
The good part in all this is that once shingles disappears, your senior parent is very unlikely to get it again. In most people of general good health, it will go away on its own without complications. Make sure to talk with your elderly loved one’s doctor about any concerns you have, or unusual symptoms. Shingles can be very painful while it lasts, and there could be other treatment options to explore.
How to Wait it out Until Shingles Goes Away
Most of the time, if your senior parent is overall a healthy individual, the shingles will go away on their own. For more severe cases, or for seniors who have other health struggles, make sure to speak with a doctor. For anyone else, here are some tips to surviving through having shingles and how to help your elderly loved one:
- Have them do as much as they can in their daily life to have a semblance of normalcy during this time.
- Continue to have a healthy, balanced diet available to your senior parent to help boost their immune system and help their body fight the virus.
- See what you can do to temporarily distract them from the pain with fun activities, their favorite hobbies and time with family.
- If you need more help, you should hire a professional caregiver from senior home services to assist you with taking care of your parent. They can provide friendship and expertise that your parent dearly needs while dealing with shingles.
For more information about senior care in Ladue MO, contact Senior Services Unlimited. We are an elder care agency providing affordable and respectful home care to couples, veterans, and the disabled. call (314) 646-8131.