Between 2009 and 2012, the reported cases of Lyme disease in Canada grew by 146 percent. However, underreporting and misdiagnosis means the numbers are likely even higher. The chronic form of Lyme disease can result in severe joint pain and neurological problems, making it especially concerning for people over 65. Because seniors have weakened immune systems, they may be more susceptible to contracting this disease if they come in contact with ticks. Here are a few tips to help your senior loved one prevent Lyme disease, brought to you by the Caledon elderly care experts at Home Care Assistance.
Be Wary of Wooded Areas
To avoid ticks altogether, your loved one should have a good understanding of the area he or she lives in and the seasons it offers. Though your loved one will likely want to go outside and enjoy nature during the warm seasons, it is essential for him or her to stay away from heavily wooded areas and tall grass where ticks are likely to live. It can be difficult to avoid ticks in the warmer months because they are more active in the spring and summer. Staying on paths ticks cannot inhabit such as those made of asphalt or dirt can keep your loved one safe from these parasites. However, it is still important for your loved one to take precautions and routinely screen his or her body as well as any pets after being outdoors.
Wear Protective Clothing
If your loved one ventures into an area potentially populated by ticks, he or she should wear long and heavy clothing. Wearing protective clothing reduces the risk of a tick coming into contact with your loved one’s skin. Additionally, wearing bright and colorful clothing is a good idea because this can make it easier to spot any ticks should they end up on your loved one’s body. Tucking pants into socks can be beneficial as well because it eliminates the possibility of ticks climbing underneath pant legs.
Using a repellent containing DEET or permethrin is absolutely essential for preventing Lyme disease in seniors. Repellents can be applied to both skin and clothing. However, your loved one should take a shower immediately after being exposed to an area with ticks, both to wash off the repellent and get of rid of ticks that have not managed to attach to his or her body.
For other strategies to keep your loved one safe from Lyme disease and other health concerns, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of part-time and live-in care Caledon families can rely on, and we also offer specialized care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. For more information on our elderly care services, please call one of our friendly Care Managers at 905-951-8885 today.