There are approximately 1 million cases of shingles throughout the United States each year. This disease impacts around 1 in every 3 people and the risk increases with age. As a family caregiver, it is crucial for you to understand the tremendous risk your parent faces to develop shingles, and the complications they may suffer because of it. Recognizing the risks your parent faces is an important part of developing a care approach focused on reducing their risks, preserving their health, and giving them their best quality of life as they age in place.
Some factors that may increase the risk of your senior developing shingles include:
- Though people of all ages can and do develop shingles, the risk for developing it increases with age. Most people who experience shingles are over the age of 50. Among those over the age of 80, half will experience shingles
- Those who have history of certain diseases are at increased risk for developing shingles. These illnesses include cancer, HIV, and other conditions that compromise the immune system. This is especially challenging for older adults since their immune systems are not as strong as younger people already
- Having undergone treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy increases the chances your parent will experience shingles. If your parent is currently undergoing any of these treatments, it is important to note they may trigger shingles
- Certain medications also increase the possibility of shingles, especially those taken after an organ transplant. These medications protect against the possibility of rejection, but also make a person more vulnerable to illness
- If your parent is at increased risk for developing shingles, do not hesitate to get in touch with their doctor. The doctor will evaluate your parent’s health and well-being, and determine what steps can be taken to protect their health. This might include getting the shingles vaccine.
Being a family caregiver means doing everything you can to give your senior their best life. One way you can do this is with elder care. An elderly home care services provider can step in on the schedule that is right for them and their needs. Personalized services help your parent stay safe and healthy, promote independence and autonomy, and encourage more activity and mental stimulation as they age in place. Knowing your loved one has access to this care eases your caregiver stress and helps you to maintain better mental and emotional health throughout this care journey.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in South Brunswick, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care Serving Somerset and Middlesex/Union Counties today. Call (732) 607-8870.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.