Pittsburgh / Allison Park Senior Care Blog

Tips for Caring for a Senior Suffering from Shingles

By Erin Carll

Approximately 1 million people throughout the United States will experience shingles each year. This condition, which occurs most frequently in people over the age of 50 and will occur in approximately 50 percent of the population of the United States by the time that they reach 80 years old, comes from the same virus that causes chicken pox. This means that if your parent has had chicken pox, they already have the shingles virus in their body and that it could develop into the pain, itching, and rash of shingles even many decades later. While this condition is not life-threatening, it can be very painful and uncomfortable, and make your parent more vulnerable to further infections and illnesses. The care that you give them as their caregiver will make a tremendous difference in how your parent is able to handle this condition and return to better health.

Use these tips to care for a senior suffering from shingles:

• Practice aggressive germ control to help prevent infection in open blisters and from spreading further illness to your parent or to others around them
• Offer your parent regular reminders to help them remain compliant with their medications and lifestyle guidelines given to them by their doctor so they can get the most benefit possible from them
• Encourage your parent to take a cool bath to help ease the pain, tingling, itching, and other symptoms of the rash
• Place cool wet compresses on areas of the rash that are particularly troublesome to relive pain and itching when a full bath is not feasible or when they want more focused relief
• Take steps to reduce the stress in your parent’s life as stress is known to trigger further outbreaks

If your aging parent has been suffering from shingles or any other health condition, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a fully customized schedule that ensures that they have all of the attention, care, support, and assistance that they need when they need it while also keeping you at the forefront of their care routine. This means that you are able to give your aging parent the care that is right for both of you and still feel confident that they are getting everything else that they need. When it comes to helping them manage shingles, this care provider can help your parent to understand the guidelines that were given to them by their doctor, and then encourage them to remain compliant with these guidelines as well as their prescriptions. This means reminding them to take their medications when and how they are meant to in order to get the most benefit, as well as supporting them in making the lifestyle decisions that will help them to get through this illness in the best way possible. They can also provide them with supportive care that will help them to deal not just with the physical pain and difficulty of this condition, but also the emotional impact as well. This can help your loved one to get through their experience with shingles in a healthier and more beneficial way, and return to their normal life as soon as possible.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Cheswick, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.