Shingles is a serious risk for older adults and something that 30% of the total population of the United States will experience at some point in their lives. This condition is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, so if your aging parent has ever experienced chicken pox in their life, they already have this virus in their body. This means shingles could occur at any time. As a family caregiver, it is important to understand that while anyone who has had chickenpox could develop shingles, there are some factors that further increase the risk of developing this potentially serious condition. Recognizing these risks in your elderly adult can allow you to take the necessary steps to reduce this risk and protect your parent.
Some factors that may increase the risk for your aging parent developing shingles include:
- Being over the age of 50. While anyone can develop shingles, and even children can experience this condition, most people who suffer it are older. The risk for developing the condition further increase with each year of life.
- Using certain medications. If your aging parent takes medications to manage certain health issues and challenges, they might be at higher risk for developing shingles. Specifically, medications used to prevent rejection after an organ transplant can increase this risk.
- Certain health issues. Seniors who are suffering other health issues that compromise immune system make your parent more vulnerable to shingles. Cancer and HIV are of particular risk.
- Low immune system. If your parent has a tendency to suffer illness or infection, they are more likely to experience shingles. This is because of a lower immune system that is less able to control infections and fight off illness.
Understanding your senior's risk for health issues and challenges is just one step you can take as a family caregiver to help protect them. Another is starting elderly care for them. An elderly home care services provider can help your parent to make good lifestyle choices that will support their physical health, as well as their mental and emotional well-being. This can include assistance with grocery shopping, meal and snack preparation, support for physical exercise, helping them to maintain good sleep hygiene, helping them keep the house clean and free from germs, and more. If your aging parent is a particular risk for health issues, this elderly care provider can also act as another set of eyes for you, monitoring your loved one and letting you know if their needs or symptoms change so you can make further decisions regarding their care and treatment.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elderly care in Centennial, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today. Call us at (303) 756-9322.