As spring arrives, people start spending more time outside. Your mom loves to work in her gardens. Maybe, she spends hours walking in the trails near her home. Either way, there are safety precautions everyone has to keep in mind.
Hydration is Important
Ideally, people should aim for two liters of water, tea, coffee, and other liquids each day. Non-caffeinated beverages are best, so a cup of coffee is fine, but it should be followed with herbal iced tea, water, seltzer, etc.
When it’s warm outside, your mom needs to be especially aware of how much she’s drinking. If it’s been several hours since her last glass of water, she needs to stop and get a drink.
Consider buying her a reusable water bottle that has markings and lights or audible alarms that alert her it’s time to stop and have some water. It will help her track how much she’s had so far and what’s left for the rest of the day.
Watch for Ticks
Ticks that cause illnesses are found in many states. They include Lyme disease or anaplasmosis from black-legged or Western black-legged ticks, ehrlichiosis from lone star ticks, and Colorado tick fever from wood ticks.
When she’s outside walking in the woods or a field, tucking pants into her socks and tucking her shirt into her pants helps keep them from reaching her skin. Using an insect repellent with permethrin, DEET, eucalyptus or lemon oil, or picaridin also helps.
If your mom is bitten by a tick, it often takes a full 24 hours or more before the virus is passed from an infected tick to your mom. The tick has to be a carrier. After being outside, she should shower to remove any crawling ticks. She should also have someone check her over for ticks that have bitten her.
Some exposure to the sun is beneficial. Too much increases the risk of sunburns and skin cancer. Your mom should apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, including her ears and face. She needs to apply it 15 minutes before heading outside.
Once she’s outside, the sunscreen needs to be reapplied after swimming or getting wet. If she stays dry, she needs to reapply it every two hours. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays are also important.
Would it help to have home care services supervising outdoor activities? If you worry about your mom overheating or forgetting to stay hydrated, caregivers can help. They can remind your mom to put on sunscreen before she goes out. Call a home care agency to get started.