Elderly Care in Pasadena, TX - Urge Your Elderly Loved One to Get the Shingles Vaccine and Avoid this Painful Disease
Many of us had chickenpox when we were younger. Even though you can get the disease only once, the virus lies dormant inside of you the rest of your life. As you get older, your immune system weakens, making it possible for the chickenpox virus to reactivate as a disease called shingles.
Shingles is a virus that infects a nerve. It causes a rash on one side of the body – usually on the face or torso. It typically goes away on its own, but can be severe for certain people. That is why vaccines are recommended for seniors 60 years of age and older. As a family caregiver, you might be concerned about shingles in your elderly loved one, or find a rash with an unknown cause. Read on to learn about the signs and complications so you can protect them. (Source)
Signs of Shingles
Shingles starts out as itching, stinging or burning pain on one side of the body. It’s generally felt on the torso, face or neck. The pain level may range from barely existent to severe in nature. Achiness, fatigue, fever or headache may also be present. A few days later, a rash will typically appear where the pain was felt. The rash will follow a nerve path and cause a stripe or band around one side of the body. The rash will look like red raised bumps. A few days later, expect to see these bumps replaced by blisters filled with fluid. They will resemble chickenpox and eventually crust over. They could last for two weeks or longer, but tend to go away within four weeks. (Source)
If your elderly loved one has a severe case of shingles, it’s possible that he or she could be in pain for months or even years. This is called post-herpetic neuralgia and can also cause permanent scarring and changes to the pigment of the skin. This can possibly be avoided if they start on an antiviral medication regimen at the first signs of the disease. If the rash is on the face, it’s best to have a doctor assess it. If the disease enters the eyes, it can cause serious complications, including infections and even blindness. Those who have a suppressed immune system – such as seniors who have HIV or are on chemotherapy – should also see their doctor right away because shingles can be dangerous in these situations.
The caregivers at SYNERGY HomeCare are available to talk with you and your family about all of your elder care needs. SYNERGY HomeCare is an elder care agency providing quality and affordable elderly care in Pasadena, TX and the surrounding areas. Call us for more information at 713-396-5211.