Each year throughout the United States approximately 1 million people develop the painful condition known as shingles. Of these, 10 to 20 percent of them will develop ophthalmic shingles, which is shingles that develops on the skin of the eye or in the eye itself and can not only threaten your parent’s eye health or vision, but also increases their risk of suffering a stroke. As a family caregiver, it is important that you understand your aging parent’s risk of developing shingles so that you are able to either help your parent reduce this risk or prepare yourself for the care that they will need if they do develop it.
The majority of people who develop shingles are over the age of 50. Approximately half of all people throughout the United States will develop shingles by the time that they turn 80. This means that just by merit of your parent being older, they are at increased risk of developing the disease. The most important risk factor that you should be aware of is having had chicken pox. If your senior had chicken pox when they were younger, no matter how old they were when they had it or how severe it was when they had it, the virus lives in their body. It can remain inactive in the tissues for many years before coming back as shingles.
Other risk factors that might increase the chances that your aging parent will develop shingles include:
- Suppressed immune system
- Suffering from certain medical conditions, such as HIV or cancer
- Taking certain medications, such as those that are designed to help prevent the body from rejecting organs after a transplant
- Undergoing cancer treatments
If your aging parent has been suffering from shingles or any other health condition, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a fully customized schedule that ensures that they have all of the attention, care, support, and assistance that they need when they need it while also keeping you at the forefront of their care routine. This means that you are able to give your aging parent the care that is right for both of you and still feel confident that they are getting everything else that they need. When it comes to helping them manage shingles, this care provider can help your parent to understand the guidelines that were given to them by their doctor, and then encourage them to remain compliant with these guidelines as well as their prescriptions. This means reminding them to take their medications when and how they are meant to in order to get the most benefit, as well as supporting them in making the lifestyle decisions that will help them to get through this illness in the best way possible. If your aging parent is at risk of developing shingles but has not yet developed it, this care provider can help them to make the life choices that will help to manage that risk in the best way possible.
If you or an aging family member are considering hiring elder care in Dunwoody, GA, please contact the caring staff at Caring Companions of Atlanta 470-514-5954.
We provide quality non-medical services to our clients in their homes or in a facility if that’s where they live. Our staff is available for care plans for extensive care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or as little as 4 hours per visit. Reach out to us, and one of our outstanding administrative staff will meet with potential clients to assist them and their families in designing an effective, personal plan of care.