When you think of family members in their golden years and health, the first things that come to mind are typically things like: “they need assistance” and “they need more help.” But what happens when aging also means your body loses its ability to heal itself? When you’re unable to heal as quickly or as well as you used to, it can lead to issues with your skin – like shingles. Shingles are caused by a virus called varicella zoster, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox in children. The virus stays dormant in your body after chickenpox has cleared up (typically around age five) but can reappear later in life at any time.
Here we will discuss why family members in their golden years are more susceptible to shingles than other age groups and how assisted living care in Gretna, LA, can help prevent outbreaks.
What are Shingles?
The same virus that causes chickenpox also produces shingles, a skin rash. The virus that causes chickenpox stays in your body and can reactivate at a later time. This happens most often when people are older than 50, although it can occur at any age.
When shingles develop, it usually feels like a burning or itching sensation on one side of your body (usually on your chest or back). The rash usually appears several days later as small red bumps that quickly turn into blisters filled with clear fluid or pus-this is called an “eruption” or “outbreak.” The blisters crust over within 2 weeks but may leave scars if they don’t heal properly.
In seniors, who are more susceptible to this condition than younger people (and therefore more likely to miss its early warning signs), this can be very dangerous because their weakened immune systems make it harder for them to fight off infections like this one.
The Symptoms Of Shingles In Seniors
While shingles is not a fatal disease, it can be very painful and cause other health issues. The symptoms of shingles in adults in their golden years are similar to those of the chicken pox virus, which most people have had as kids.
The first sign that you’ve contracted the virus is an itchy or burning sensation on your skin. This happens because your immune system has been weakened by age, so your body doesn’t recognize the virus as foreign matter and attacks it instead. The next step is for blisters to appear on your skin-usually in clusters along one side of your torso or face (although they can appear anywhere). They may last several days before scabbing over and healing within two weeks; however, some people experience postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which causes chronic pain even after their sores have healed!
Does Everyone Who Gets Chickenpox Get Shingles?
No, not everyone who has chickenpox will get shingles. Shingles is more likely to develop if you’ve had chickenpox in the past. In fact, about one out of three people who have already had chickenpox will get shingles at some point in their life–usually between the ages of 50 and 70 years old.
For those who have never had chickenpox or have not been vaccinated against it (which is recommended), there’s a chance they might get both diseases at once: one type of rash from the varicella virus and another type from herpes zoster that causes painful nerve pain if it remains active too long after being infected with either virus.
How Assisted Living Care In Gretna, LA Can Help
Treatment for Shingles in Seniors
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with shingles, it’s important to know that treatment options are available. The first step is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medication like acyclovir or valacyclovir to help reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. In some cases, they may recommend steroids to reduce inflammation in the area affected by shingles.
Assisted Living Communities can help in this area by providing activities that will keep your mind active and engaged. Another important factor is nutrition; eating foods rich in Vitamin C will help boost the immune system so it can fight off infections like Shingles more efficiently. Adults in their golden years should also avoid alcohol because it lowers their blood pressure, making them more susceptible to problems such as headaches after getting sick or taking medications (like antibiotics).
Rashes Can Be Disfiguring and Dangerous
If you are a senior diagnosed with shingles, it is important to know that the effects of this virus can be disfiguring and even dangerous. The rash associated with shingles can be incredibly painful and cause long-lasting scars that may affect your ability to move freely or feel comfortable in public places.
In addition to the physical effects of a shingles diagnosis, mental health issues can arise after being diagnosed with this condition. Shingles can cause depression and anxiety due to the pain associated with rashes on your body or face-and even worse: if you’re experiencing these symptoms and cognitive decline (such as dementia), assisted living care communities may be able to help! The good news is that assisted living care communities offer high-quality medical care onsite 24/7, so aging family members don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll be able to manage an illness like this on their own.
Pain And Itching Are Worse
Once shingles have been contracted, the virus stays in your body. It can reactivate and cause more sores at any time. In fact, it’s estimated that one out of every three people who get chicken pox will have a recurrence within their lifetime.
Shingles is particularly dangerous for aging family members because it can lead to postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). This is an intense burning or stabbing pain that’s felt along the nerve pathways where shingles blisters appeared on your body-usually around the chest, abdomen, and back-and usually lasts for months after symptoms go away. Left untreated PHN may become chronic pain that lasts for years or even decades after an outbreak. Assisted Living communities are ideal for your loved ones who need 24-hour supervision to stay healthy and happy. Senior-friendly independent living communities provide round-the-clock care and access to medical professionals who can help treat any health problems during their stay.
You now know that adults in their golden years are at a higher risk of severe complications and death from shingles. However, there is good news! Assisted living care communities can help them manage their symptoms and live healthy, happy life. If you or someone you love is dealing with this condition, contact us today so we can discuss our services in greater detail.