In the course of your journey as a family caregiver, one issue you are likely to hear about on a regular basis, particularly as cold and flu season approaches, is shingles. This is a potentially serious health issue that can have lingering impacts for your senior. Understanding what this disease is, why your parent may be at risk of developing it, and how it can impact your parent can help you to better determine your senior’s risk, and modify your care routine to protect your parent as much as possible.
Shingles is also referred to as herpes zoster. This is an infection caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Even when a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant inside their body. At any point, the virus can become active again, and surface as shingles. This is why even though chicken pox generally occurs only once in a lifetime, it should still be considered a dangerous health issue, and may have long-term health effects.
Shingles itself leads to a painful, itchy rash, and can result in complications and lasting consequences, including:
- Postherpetic neuralgia, a condition causing severe pain that can linger for a long period even after shingles comes to an end.
- Infections in areas of the skin affected by the rash if it is not well managed, or opens.
- Eye infections if the rash occurs on the face or eyes, which can result in vision loss.
- Inflammation of the brain that can lead to neurological problems.
If your aging parent has been ill, has been recovering from an illness or infection, or has recently undergone a medical procedure, elderly care can be a valuable addition to their care routine. An elderly home care services provider can offer a wide range of services designed to not only help your parent cope with the specific health issue they are facing, including giving reminders for their medications, but also to support an overall healthier lifestyle. Through services such as doing dishes, laundry, running errands, and meal preparation, this care provider can help your parent conserve energy, get the rest they need to heal, and focus on making healthy changes for a more fulfilling and enjoyable life as they age in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Liberty Lake, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509) 204-4088
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