Lyme Disease: How It Affects the Elderly
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection often caused by the bite of a tick. This disease is often misdiagnosed because it mimics the symptoms of other serious health problems and illnesses. As a result of a misdiagnosis, patients are often treated with medicines that don’t actually work with Lyme disease. The following information will help senior caregivers in Cincinnati identify the symptoms of Lyme disease and understand how to address the situation.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
Small red circle at bite site followed by a larger white circle and a larger red outer circle (often resembles a bull’s-eye)
Does not itch and is not painful
Rash disappears after four weeks
Chills and fever
Swollen lymph nodes
Large joint pain
How Lyme Disease Affects Seniors
A senior’s immune system is less effective the older they get. The body of a senior typically responds much slower to treatment. This presents a greater risk for them, especially if Lyme disease is misdiagnosed during the first stage. If Lyme disease is not cured with antibiotics, it becomes increasingly difficult for doctors to find a cure for seniors. Many of them already have symptoms from other diseases that mimic those of Lyme disease. The longer this disease remains within the body without proper treatment, the more likely it will become fatal.
The sooner a doctor properly diagnoses the disease and begins treating the individual with the recommended antibiotics, the more likely the person is to fully recover from Lyme disease. In later stages the symptoms become more complicated and make it increasingly difficult for the individual to heal completely. Infection can be healed within two to three weeks with antibiotic treatment, while lingering symptoms are treated as they appear. If treatment is administered later, those with Lyme disease often exhibit lifelong symptoms including chronic muscles aches and pains, nausea, and fatigue.
It’s important for seniors with Lyme disease to have easy access to relief at home. Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati, OH, provides premier live-in and hourly home care to help seniors manage the symptoms of Lyme disease 24/7. In addition to reminding seniors to take their medications, we also offer help with daily activities such as prescription pick-ups and physical therapy. Contact an experienced Care Manager today at 513.891.2273 to learn more and schedule a no-obligation consultation.