PHN, also known as postherpetic neuralgia, can be a serious and long-lasting complication of shingles. The result of nerve damage that occurs from the infection, PHN is characterized by pain that lingers long after the infection itself is cleared up. The pain can last for at least 3 months but can linger for years, dramatically diminishing quality of life for the sufferer. For those who are dealing with postherpetic neuralgia, any type of stimulus on the skin including touch and even wearing clothes can be painful. As a family caregiver, it is extremely important that you give your parent the care and support that they need to cope with this condition so that they can manage it effectively and maintain as much health and quality of life as possible as they deal with it.
Use these tips to help you care for a senior suffering from PHN:
- Acknowledge the pain that they are feeling to help support their mental and emotional health, know that they are not being dramatic, and support them being open and honest about what they are going through so that they are able to seek out the help that they need.
- Talk to their doctor about the use of over the counter pain medications and if these are appropriate for your parent. Ensure that your parent uses them responsibly to avoid potential complications.
- Talk to their doctor about the use of prescription pain medications for more serious pain. Ensure that your parent is compliant with these medications and does not use them excessively, as this can lead to dependence.
- Encourage your parent to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to reduce pressure on the skin.
- Utilize non-medication forms of pain relief such as cold compresses and topical creams if the doctor deems them appropriate.
- Find ways to support your parent’s quality of life, including spending quality time with them, planning activities that they can enjoy, and supporting them continuing to be involved with favorite events and hobbies.
- Consider increasing elder care for them to boost companionship and provide assistance with activities of daily living that may now be more difficult.
If you have been looking for a way to enhance your aging loved ones quality of life and help them to maintain their health, safety, and independence as they age in place, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. And elderly home care services provider can be with your parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they always have access to the assistance, care, and support that they need to manage their needs, challenges, and limitations in the ways that are right for them. Through a highly personalized set of services, this care provider can help your parent to pursue a lifestyle that is as independent, active, engaged, and fulfilling as possible throughout their later years. As their family caregiver, this can give you peace of mind and ease your stress, reassuring you that your parent is in good hands both when they are with you and when they are not.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Columbia, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.