Varicella-zoster, better known as shingles, is a virus that anyone who had chicken pox has lying dormant in nerve tissue. For some, the virus may become active again. This typically happens after the age of 50. According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s estimated that 50 percent of senior citizens will have shingles by the time they’re 80.
Symptoms of Shingles.
Symptoms vary from person to person. One of the most common symptoms is nerve pain, numbness, and/or burning on one side or a specific area of the body. The pain might make the person not want to be touched. Some people also develop a red rash with blisters that are filled with fluid. That rash may become very itchy. Pain is usually the biggest complaint, and it can be so excruciating that the person doesn’t want to get out of bed.
In addition to those symptoms, there are less common symptoms that include extreme fatigue, fever, and headache. People with shingles may find their eyes become very sensitive to bright light and need sunglasses outside on a cloudy day or want lights turned off within the house.
Talk to Your Mom and Dad About Shingles.
Talk to your parents about shingles. Make sure you know if they had Chicken Pox as a child. If they did, they’re at risk for shingles. They should consider the shingles vaccine. Zostavax is recommended for adults in the 50 to 60 age range. The vaccine is not a guarantee that you will avoid shingles, but it can help lessen the severity of the symptoms.
What Happens if They Get Shingles.
If your mom or dad get shingles, get them to the doctor. There are medications that can help with the pain and discomfort. The doctor will also prescribe an antiviral medication to help prevent complications from happening.
A bath in a product containing colloidal oatmeal may help with itching. Calamine lotion will also help. Keep a fever reducer like Advil on hand, and cool compresses may also help with some of the discomfort.
Your mom and dad will need help around the house. The pain will keep your parent from wanting to move around much. Having a caregiver to help with meal preparation, errands, and light housekeeping is important. Caregivers can also offer medication reminders and bathing assistance. Call a home care agency to learn more about the services caregivers offer.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Clark, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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