Shingles affect approximately one million people throughout the United States each year and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one out of every three people in this country will experience shingles at some point in their lives. Not only does this infection cause symptoms that can be severe and even debilitating, including a painful rash and fatigue, but it can also lead to potentially serious complication. As a family caregiver, it is extremely important that you understand these complications so that you can protect your parent and help them to minimize the risk and manage their condition in the most effective and beneficial way possible.
Some of the potential complications of shingles include:
Vision loss. If you are aging parent has developed a shingles rash on their face or near their eye, they are at risk of experiencing an infection within the eye that can eventually lead to vision loss. This makes it extremely important that you get them immediate medical attention if you notice the signs of a shingles rash on their face and take aggressive steps to treat the infection and help them to manage it so that you can protect their eyes.
Infections in the skin. The shingles rash includes blisters that are filled with fluids. These blisters tend to burst open and then crust over. Before they crusted over, however, they are open, making your parent vulnerable to infection in the skin. These infections can become serious and lead to further complications.
Postherpetic neuralgia. One of the more severe complications of shingles is a condition known as postherpetic neuralgia or PHN. This condition develops when nerves are damaged, leading to pain that can linger for months and even years after the shingles infection has cleared.
Neurological issues. Depending on the area of the body that is impacted by the shingles rash, nerve damage can result that impacts the brain. This can lead to inflammation that can cause neurological problems including balance issues, hearing problems, encephalitis, and paralysis of the face.
How can home care help?
Starting home care for your aging parents can be a fantastic way to enhance their quality of life and support their ongoing health and well-being as they age in place. Through the highly personalized services of an in-home senior care services provider, your parent can manage their individual challenges and limitations while also pursuing the highest level of independence, activity, and engagement as possible.
Services such as transportation, meal preparation, assistance with running errands, help with personal care needs, mobility support, and companionship can help your parents to enjoy greater safety, comfort, and physical and mental health and well-being throughout their later years. As their family caregiver, this can ease your stress and give you peace of mind so you are able to focus your energy and attention on both your parents and the other obligations in your life as efficiently as possible.