Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a bite from an infected, blood-sucking tick. One of the first noticeable symptoms is a rash, which looks like a bull’s eye. As the infection spreads, the sufferer may experience a recurring fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, a stiff neck and fatigue.
Lyme disease symptoms are very often confused with the symptoms of MLS, ALS and even dementia patients. If left untreated, the disease could progress to muscle spasms, loss of motor coordination, and even worse paralysis, meningitis, or heart problems.
Ticks are not born with the Lyme spirochetes. It picks up the bacteria when feeding on an infected host. While deer are typically blamed for the spread of tick-borne diseases, rodents are the primary threat. White-footed mice infect 70-95% percent of larval tickets that feed on them, while deer only infect 1%.
The infection is diagnoses through two-tied blood testing: the ELISA (an enzyme-linked immunosorbet assay) and then the Western blot. It is often treated with oral antibiotics that are taken over several weeks time.
The Importance of Early Detection | Caregivers for Seniors Vancouver
Tick bites commonly occur between the months of April and September and can be found throughout Canada. Tick bites are quite common. Most people simply remove the tick upon becoming aware of contact and move on; viewing them as no more than nuisance and not thinking of what the after effects may be. What’s more, because of the natural anesthesia that ticks ooze when they bite, some people may not even know that they have been bitten. It is therefore very important for seniors (and anyone for that matter) to understand the early signs of Lyme disease. The sooner they begin treatment, the greater their chances of full recovery.
Here’s what seniors and their caregivers should be on the lookout for:
• Fever, chills, and joint aches
• A rash with a bull’s eye-like appearance
• Swollen lymph nodes
• Strong migraines
• Shortness of breath
• Memory lapses (short-term memory loss)
Reducing the Risk of Lyme Disease | Caregivers for Seniors Vancouver
Lyme disease is undoubtedly a great risk for seniors, but it should not discourage them leaving the house and enjoying fresh air. Taking a few precautionary steps can help seniors and their caregivers avoid these nuisance bugs. Before going on a walk or hike, it’s important to put on clothing that covers up the arms and legs. Ticks are more likely to attach themselves to these parts of the body. If the weather is warmer out and thicker clothing is not ideal, applying tick repellent product is worth consider. As well, sticking to the center of trails or walking paths can also reduce your risk of being bitten and infected. Upon returning from the outing, seniors and their caregivers should always check themselves thoroughly for the presence of ticks or indications of a bite.
Ace Personnel | Professional Caregivers for Seniors & Homecare | Vancouver & Surrey
ACE Personnel is a family owned and operated service founded in 1977 by Diane Anderson (“Mrs. A”). It began as a home based business and has since been devoted to helping the local community with childcare and home care solutions. Mrs. A took great pride in the fact that she was able to help others through elderly care and nanny placements. She took time to get to know her each of her clients and as a result developed lasting relationships with many of them.
Contact us today if you are looking for a professional caregiver or homecare for your loved one.