How Lyme Disease Affects Seniors

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The Implications of Lyme Disease for the Elderly

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What Is Lyme Disease?

The Borrelia family of bacteria causes Lyme disease. This bacterium is transmitted to humans by bites from certain types of ticks. While Lyme disease is common throughout the United States, it can be difficult to diagnose. As a result, it is unknown exactly how common Lyme disease is among the general population. Children and seniors are considered to be at greater risk than others, so special care should be taken to avoid tick bites for those people. The following are signs and symptoms Dayton senior care providers should watch out for.

Chronic Lyme Disease

If caught early, most doctors agree that Lyme disease can be easily treated with antibiotics. However, not all cases manifest with recognizable symptoms and there is a great deal of evidence that Lyme disease symptoms can persist in the body even after early treatment is administered. Chronic, or post treatment Lyme disease, can have an increasing effect on a patient throughout his or her life.

Symptoms

Early onset Lyme disease often manifests as an itchy rash around the site of a tick bite. The rash can spread and begin to resemble a target or bull’s-eye. As the bacteria spreads, it can cause fever, joint pain, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms. If left untreated, the disease can damage an array of organs, including the heart, brain, and central nervous system. Post treatment Lyme disease can be totally debilitating in some cases. Those with Lyme disease may have similar symptoms to those who have congestive heart failure or multiple sclerosis, which becomes worse as an individual gets older. 

Treatment and Care

Treatment for post treatment Lyme disease usually consists of live-in or hourly Dayton home care. Antibiotics are not effective at this stage of the disease. Medical treatment can vary greatly depending on which organs are affected by the disease, but it is usually targeted at relieving the symptoms. In-home care is extremely important for those who live with Lyme disease and experience increasing levels of severity as they age. Regular sleep as well as exercise and proper diet are essential in preserving quality of life for these individuals.

If you have a loved one living with Lyme disease, turn to Home Care Assistance of Dayton. Our highly trained caregivers help seniors maintain healthy diet and regular exercise to combat the symptoms of Lyme disease. Additionally, we provide services for seniors with other medical needs including Alzheimer’s, stroke, and dementia home care in Dayton. Call us today at 937-353-7997 to learn more about our comprehensive services and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.