Summer Safety for Seniors

Summer in Falmouth and on the Cape means more time outside with local friends, family and visitors. Gardening, taking long walks, going to the beach and waiting in line for an ice cream cone are all part of summer fun, especially after more than a year of COVID restrictions. But, it is important for older adults to take precautions to stay healthy when participating in summer activities.

The following articles and access to online information may help you stay safe this summer. Read about heat and sun protection; beach safety; poison ivy and oak; and, dealing with ticks and Lyme disease.

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Protect Yourself From the Heat and Sun

Hot Weather Safety for Older Adults: Too much heat is not safe for anyone. It is even riskier if you are older or have health problems. It is important to get relief from the heat quickly. Information from the National Institute on Aging on how to keep heat-related illnesses from becoming a dangerous heat stroke…Read More

Staying Safe When It’s Too Darn Hot: While summer brings us warmth and bloom, prolonged exposure to excessive heat in summer months can be dangerous. When the temperature climbs above 80°F, older adults need to be proactive and take precautions to avoid ailments due to excessive heat. Tip sheet from the Health in Aging Foundation…Read More

Many Older Adults Don’t Protect Their Skin From the Sun: Even at older ages, sun protection behaviors can help prevent sunburn and skin cancer risk. Less than half of older adults protect their skin from the sun when outside for an hour or more on a warm, sunny day. This may raise your risk of getting skin cancer. Information from the CDC…Read More

Beach Safety Guide for Seniors: Going to the beach should be fun for everyone! Seniors are no exception.

Getting some fresh air is especially great for older adults since it gets us out of the house and comes with many health benefits. However, seniors need some extra care and prep beforehand to make sure you're safe on our beautiful beaches...Read More

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Poison Ivy and Other Poisonous Plants

Outsmarting Poison Ivy and Other Poisonous Plants: First comes the itching, then a red rash, and then blisters. Tips from the FDA for preventing and treating the itchy rash and blisters…Read More

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac: If you spend time outdoors, chances are you have been bothered by poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac at some point. Most people are sensitive to the plants' oily sap. The sap is in the root, stems, leaves and fruit of these plants. If it gets on your skin, it causes a blistering skin rash. Information from the National Library of Medicine…Read More

Summer on the Cape (Silver Thread Article Falmouth Enterprise)

Ticks and Poison Ivy:

The price we pay for living in this beautiful habitat is the many creatures – chipmunks, deer, squirrels -  who  share their ticks with us. Mother Nature has also decreed that our lush landscape is perfect for poison ivy which seems to spread by the hour. Just as we learned to promote sun safety with sunscreen and hats we must learn to avoid the dangers of ticks and poisonous plants...Read More

 

Ticks & Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. At first, Lyme disease usually causes symptoms such as a rash, fever, headache, and fatigue. But if it is not treated early, the infection can spread to your joints, heart, and nervous system. Prompt treatment can help you recover quickly. The following resources provide in-depth and reliable information about Lyme disease:

MedlinePlus: 

Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks. Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors.

American Lyme Disease Foundation:

Early treatment of Lyme disease (within the first few weeks after initial infection) is straightforward and almost always results in a full cure. Treatment begun after the first three weeks will also likely provide a cure, but the cure rate decreases the longer treatment is delayed.

CDC:

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods.

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