Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
North east
Do you think shingles is lifethreatening to someone in the 'end stages' of vascular dementia. My mam has lost vast amounts of weight in the last few months her size 10 trousers are hanging off her she is like a skeleton. We have just been informed she now has shingles.
Also yesterday when I was visiting, my mam wanted the toilet. Unfortunately she has a toilet obsession. and so the carers have put a limit on how often she gets taken to the toilet. I think she is allowed to go every 2 hrs. I was pretty sure she genuinelly wanted to go yesterday and they took her very reluctantly. Lo and behold she had wet herself. She is not incontinent and that is part of her toilet obsesssion. She does not want to wet herself. I have spoken to the senior nurse at the home and said what if my mam doesnt want to go when they allow her but 10 mins later she genuinelly does want to go? She said they would take this into account but somehow I dont think this is happenning.They are actually making her incontinent.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Nancy - I'm not sure about life-threatening but I do think it can be the last straw. My mother came down with shingles shortly before she died and while I don't think they killed her, I do think there was an element of simply giving up: just one more thing and too much to bear.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
. I think she is allowed to go every 2 hrs. I was pretty sure she genuinelly wanted to go yesterday and they took her very reluctantly. Lo and behold she had wet herself. .

Nancy, I'm sorry, I can't help you over shingles, I've no experience of them.

But I do think this is disgusting. You're not allowed to do this to kids in school, so how is it fair for a person with dementia? What about her personal dignity?

They're doing it for their own convenience, without any consideration for your mum. I'm afraid I'd hit the roof!

I hope your mum doesn't suffer too much with the shingles, I believe they can be very painful.


Registered User
Nov 16, 2007
East Midlands
Hello Nancy,

I agree with Jennifer..Shingles is painful and very unpleasant..but is not life threatening.

Unfortunately it can be sign that the sufferer is "under par"..
Another thought re the toilet..could your mum have a urine infection..?

It may be that if she is under the weather she is prone to infection..ask the Nursing Home to check..

Hope this helps..
Love gigi xx

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
My mother had shingles but it certainly didn`t shorten her life, even though she could have been in the final stage of dementia.

At the time she was unable to communicate her pain and I will always remember the tortured expression on her face. No-one at the hospital thought to read it, and it wasn`t until I suggested she might be suffering the pain shingles is known to cause, she was given analgesics.

The change in her expression, from torture to calm was significant.


Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
North east
No she hasnt got a urine infection. She has had a toilet obsession for the past 18 months since she had a fall off the comode and broke her shoulder. I have a theory that she must have suffered a stroke when she fell off the comode and that was the last thought she had and that is why she she has a toilet obsession.Whatever it was we her family have been in hell ever since as she has begged us to take her home but there was no way we could have coped with her demanding to go to the toilet 30+ times a night. She constantly says she wishes she was dead, wants to kill herself, is frightened and begs us to take her home.


Registered User
Jan 4, 2008
east sussex

I suffered from shingles and suffer is the right word to use, it was extremely painful and painkillers were almost useless, I understand if it is caught early enough there is medication that will arrest it to a certain extent. The after pain can last for a year or so, not so acute but a creepy feeling on the skin.