Summer is one of the most highly anticipated seasons of the year and everyone and anyone can benefit from it. However, at the other side of the coin, this is also the season where diseases can sprout at any time. Some of these diseases can be dangerous for the elderly. One of these diseases that caregivers should look out for is Lyme Disease.
According to Mayo Clinic, Lyme disease is a disease caused by bacteria borne by infected ticks and is highly common in North America and Europe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. These are common within in mice, squirrels and other small animals.
One can contract the disease if they are on the outdoors, especially if they are in the woodlands or are constantly surrounded by pets. It is not a harmless disease, but can be if left untreated. Once Lyme disease gets worse, it can escalate into complications such as arthritis, facial palsy, and irregular heartbeats. This can be very painful for seniors, especially if they have a low pain threshold. On the bright side, Lyme disease is treatable, however it is still better if it could be prevented.
Here are some of the ways on how one could prevent Lyme disease:
1. Keep seniors covered up. One of the ways to get Lyme disease is through exposed skin, especially if you are going to go for a stroll in the woods or tall grass as these could be possible places to get bitten. Best clothes for these are long sleeves and pants, however, it is also important that the clothes seniors wear are light and breathable so that they do not feel too hot and overheat.
2. Walk on trails. We understand that seniors do need their walks as it serves as a form of exercise, however you can still go on walks without going through tall grasses and woodland. Taking walks on trails are an alternative way for this. Not only one is getting the exercise they need, but trails are also generally shaded so seniors are protected from the sun.
3. Spray DEET insect repellent. Protecting one’s self isn’t limited to the clothes they wear, sometimes one also has to put on skin protection. Insect repellent with DEET is effective for this, furthermore, it is also safe for the skin. Preparations with 20%-30% are enough.
4. Keep a routine check from time to time. Even with all the precaution in the world, one still has to be careful and keep vigilant on the symptoms. That is why it is important to keep an eye for tick bites and ticks, and remove them with tweezers. If you think anyone has been bitten, keeping a close eye for any possible symptoms is also important. Though symptoms are asymptomatic, some would often manifest it with a red round rash on the site of the bite, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, headaches fever, and body pains. In case any symptoms come out, seek the help of a doctor.