Did you know that a whopping fifty percent of all people living in the United States will contract shingles by the time they are 80 years old?
How about this: according to the National Institute of Health, most of these occurrences will happen to people between the ages of 60 – 80. In fact, one out of every three seniors over 60 will get the disease. Sobering.
Shingles is a rash on one side of the body that eventually blisters, then scabs over within 7 – 10 days. The disease occurs when the chickenpox virus reactivates itself. As you may know, once you contract chickenpox, even though you heal, the virus (which resides in the herpes family) remains in your body for life.
Interesting related fact: even though an infected person cannot pass shingles to another, he or she could potentially pass chickenpox to someone who has never had chickenpox.
While shingles generally completely heals within four weeks, it can be extremely painful. While this is usually its most debilitating symptom, in some cases complications can ensue, including additional skin diseases, pneumonia, toxic shock, and encephalitis.
The most effective route to prevention is the shingles vaccine. It is recommended that your elderly parent receive one when she turns 60 to lessen the risk. But if your loved one does indeed get it, make sure that they remain away from pregnant women and young children until their blisters crust over. Also, keep the rash covered, and ask them not to scratch it in order to avoid further infection.
While generally not life-threatening, shingles is definitely still a threat, especially to seniors. Be on the lookout, and do what you can to stay aware of this brutal affliction and minimize its effect on your loved ones.
There is so much to think about when entering the later stages of life. If you are considering elder care options, we at 805Aging can help. Our professional staff specializes in assisting you to choose the right kind of care for your loved one.
We conduct regular check-ins when you are unable to do so. 805Aging also provides oversight and detailed feedback to the family to keep your loved one safe and well-cared for day or night, weekday or weekend, holiday and every day.
We have the resources. We can hold your hand. We can guide you. Your peace of mind is our main goal, and is well assured. To find out more, call us at 805-750-4755 or visit our website and sign up for our monthly newsletter: www.805Aging.com.
There is no manual on how to take care of your parents as they age. They had a baby book when you were young. You have us. -Amy