At Lincoln Home Care Assistance, we encourage all seniors to attend routine health screenings and stay up to date with their vaccinations. With the changes to Medicare, many of these vaccinations are covered for seniors, and are crucial in preventing illness and in some cases, pain and discomfort.
One of the most overlooked vaccines among older adults is for shingles. However, those who get the shingles vaccination reduce their risk of contracting the virus by 50 percent. And those who do happen to get it, will be exposed to a much more mild case.
Shingles is a blistering and painful skin rash that affects more than 1 million Americans each year. Derived from the same virus that causes chickenpox, the virus hides in the nerve cells near the spinal cord. For some individuals, the virus will later emerge in the form of shingles, and commonly occurs in individuals over the age of 60 and those with weakened immune systems.
Early symptoms of the disease include pain, itching or burning of the skin, with a blistering rash appearing several days following. The rash typically occurs on the side of the body and can last for up to four weeks. Unfortunately, in addition to the pain caused by the actual rash itself, shingles can result in severe nerve pain that can last for months or even years.
If you or someone you know is over the age of 60 encourage them to speak to a doctor or Lincoln senior care specialist about the shingles vaccination. The vaccine is quick, pain free and safe with the only reported side effects being mild redness or soreness of the arm.
Additionally, Medicare covers the shingles vaccination under preventative benefits for seniors under Part D. If you have a Part D plan, the vaccine will be paid for in full, and your doctor or health care provider can administer the shot. You will only be responsible for paying the plan’s co-pay. To keep out-of-pocket costs at a minimum, check with your Part D plan provider to see which doctors and drugstores are included and covered by your individual plan.
For more information about senior health, contact us today! We are the leading providers of at-home care in Lincoln and are happy to answer any of your questions.