Shingles is one of the most serious risks elderly adults face as they age.
More than 1 million cases of the disease occur in the United States each year and experts estimate that among seniors over the age of 80, half will experience shingles. As a family caregiver, it is your priority to help your parent stay as healthy and safe as possible as they age in place, and that means helping them to reduce their risk for serious health issues such as shingles. Preventing this disease can protect your parent from the painful, itchy rash, but also from severe complications such as blindness, chronic pain, and more.
Some ways you can protect your parent from shingles include:
- The single most effective and recommended way to prevent shingles among those who have already had chickenpox is to get the shingles vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that getting the vaccine reduces the risk of shingles by approximately 70 percent. As with any other type of vaccine, it is important to note that it is not appropriate for everyone and you must talk to your senior’s doctor to make sure it is right for them.
- Practicing good lifestyle habits is important for all forms of health, including reducing the risk of disease. Encourage your senior to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that will give them what their body needs to stay strong and function at its peak. Talk to their doctor about the types of foods that are best for them according to their health needs.
- Use good germ control practices to reduce the risk of infection and illness that could trigger shingles.
- Help your parent to manage and reduce the stress in their life. Stress has been shown to be a major contributor to the development of shingles among those who have suffered chickenpox.
Medication reminders are just one of many benefits of elderly care for your aging parent. The instructions their doctor gives them are meant to support their health, manage their risks, and improve their well-being. Compliance is about following these instructions by taking medications when and how they are supposed to, in order to get the most benefit, minimize risk for side effects, complications with other medications, and more. Empowering your parent to take care of their health is about supporting them in following through these instructions, and an elderly home care services provider can make that easier for both of you.
Medication reminders are personalized reminders for your parent that help them stay on schedule, remember dosing guidelines, and follow through with instructions such as what to eat when taking the medication. As their family caregiver, this can help you to feel more confident in your parent’s ability to manage their health and follow these instructions even if they are struggling with memory skills or take multiple medications each day.
If you or someone you know needs Homecare in Hutchinson, MN, contact Adara Home Health Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.