Caregivers in North Palm Beach FL
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 300,000 cases of Lyme disease occur each year throughout the United States. As a caregiver it is important that you understand not only who gets this disease and how, but what you can do to help protect your elderly parent from contracting it. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection most often transmitted through the bite of a tick. Though there is a common misconception that this disease only really exists on the East Coast, the reality is that people on the West Coast, as well as the central United States and people in at least 60 different countries around the world, can and do contract Lyme disease each year. Understanding this can help you to be more serious about taking precautions to guard your loved one from the potentially devastating consequences of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease can impact virtually all systems of the body, including the heart, brain, joints, and muscles. If left untreated it can lead to paralysis, neurological issues, and even death. Because the symptoms often mimic those of other conditions, people with Lyme disease are often misdiagnosed and go without the proper treatment for some time, increasing their chances of suffering very serious consequences. Fortunately there are things that you can do to help your aging loved one avoid contracting the disease.
Some ways that you can help prevent your parent from developing Lyme disease include:
- Avoid potentially infested areas. When you are planning your outdoor activities with your elderly parent, try to avoid areas that are wooded, grassy, have bushes, or thick growth. These are the places where ticks are most likely to live.
- Dress carefully. If you are going to be in one of the areas where there may be a high population of ticks, be sure your parent dresses carefully. This means wearing long sleeves and long pants that are not loose. Boots with the pants tucked down into the shoes are desirable. If you will be hiking or going into tall grasses for a considerable period, such as when camping or fishing, consider pulling the socks up as high as possible on the legs, pulling the pants legs down over them, and then securing them by wrapping a length of tape around them to help prevent ticks from crawling up them.
- Use proper repellant. Before heading out, make sure that your aging parent uses proper bug repellant on their skin. Look for repellant that specifically lists DEET as an active ingredient. This is the component that repels ticks. Apply the repellant to the skin prior to dressing, and then again to the clothing and shoes to provide thorough protection.
- Search for ticks. As soon as your parent comes inside, have them bathe thoroughly, using a washcloth to wash all of their skin with a firm circular motion. This can help to remove ticks that have not yet attached themselves to the skin, and even to dislodge some that are weakly attached. Search their body carefully, focusing in on areas that are most likely to have ticks, including the hair, the back of the neck, the underarms, the backs of the knees, and the sensitive areas. If you find any, remove them promptly using tweezers and then apply antibacterial gel to the bite. The longer the tick is in the skin, the more likely it is that the bacteria will transmit into the blood stream.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in North Palm Beach, FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.