June is National Great Outdoors Month and it’s a great time for seniors to get outside and spend some time in nature. Whether it’s hanging out in the yard or going for a hike, there are some great benefits seniors can get from being outdoors. Studies show that spending time outdoors can cause lower stress levels and lead to a more positive mood.
When seniors are spending time outdoors this summer, they need to be very careful to avoid ticks. There’s been an increase in the number of reported tick bites in the past few years. Tick bites can cause Lyme disease, a serious autoimmune disorder that causes debilitating symptoms like extreme fatigue, muscle pain, and weakness. There is currently no cure for Lyme disease.
Wear Long Pants
An easy way that seniors can avoid ticks is by wearing long pants when they are outside. When it’s warm, seniors may not want to wear long pants. Wearing light pants made from natural fibers like cotton and linen will allow air to circulate so that seniors don’t get too warm. Seniors should also wear thick socks and keep their pant legs tucked into the tops of their socks if they are in an area where ticks tend to be.
Insect repellent can also repel ticks. If seniors are going hiking or if they are going to be in the woods or near areas where ticks are likely to be, seniors should wear insect repellent to make themselves unattractive to ticks. It’s also a good idea for seniors to put insect repellent on their clothing and on their gear if they are going hiking. Their in-home care provider can help in applying. Using insect repellent can also keep seniors safe from fly and mosquito bites when they are outdoors.
Keeping The Grass Mowed
Long grass is one of the environments that ticks love. Seniors can lower their risk of being bitten by a tick by keeping their grass mowed throughout the summer. Seniors with in-home care can get help from their care provider with mowing some parts of the grass. If your senior parent has a large lawn or lives in a rural area they may want to create an area near the house to enjoy the outside and just keep that area mowed so that they don’t have to mow a huge area.
Check For Ticks After Being Outdoors
When seniors come home after hiking, or come inside after being outdoors they should check their legs, hair, arms, and other parts of their body for ticks and tick bites. Seniors with in-home care can have their care provider check for them to make sure that they don’t have a tick attached to them. If your senior parent or their care provider finds evidence of a tick bite your senior parent should get that checked out by a doctor right away.
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