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Tick Prevention: How to Stay Safe Outdoors This Summer

BY KURT SAPP, ADMINISTRATOR, SEMINOLE SHORES LIVING CENTER, NORTON SHORES

Time spent outdoors in the Great Lakes region requires staying on guard for ticks, an arachnid linked to Lyme disease.

As the threat of coronavirus lingers, many older adults continue to adhere to strict social distancing standards. Spending time outdoors is one way to safely enjoy summer. Strolls in local parks and gardening combine exercise with stress relief and improved mental health.

While some researchers attribute increasing incidences of the disease to growing numbers of ticks, others say it is due to improvements in diagnosing it. Diagnosis can be challenging because the symptoms of Lyme disease closely mimic many other health conditions.

 

Where Are Ticks Most Commonly Found? While ticks are especially fond of wooded areas and tall grass, you can find them on almost any plants, grasses, trees, and shrubs in your yard. Even your flower garden can be a haven for these potentially dangerous insects. They patiently wait for the scent of carbon dioxide exhaled by passing animals (or humans!) and jump on to catch a ride.

As the deer population has increased in many areas of the Great Lakes, so has the number of ticks. They are known to “hitchhike” on deer because it is easier and faster for them to get around. Ticks can also be found in the feathers and fur of wild animals that call your yard home.

This is why it’s important to learn a few best practices for tick prevention.

 

Five Ways to Avoid Being Bitten by a Tick

 

1. Check for ticks. Be vigilant about checking for ticks after spending time outdoors. Examine your clothing, body, and hair after coming indoors.

2. Cover arms and legs. Wear long sleeves and long pants when you are outside. A lightweight, natural material like linen or cotton can help protect you from ticks while keeping you cool.

3. Avoid wooded areas. During peak tick season, avoid walking near shrubs and tall grass. Paths where you may brush up against shrubs and tall grass can put you at higher risk for a tick bite.

4. Wear insect repellent. Another way to ward off ticks is to apply and reapply insect repellent. Look for those containing DEET and permethrin. They are best at tick prevention.

5. Shower after yard time. It will also help if you remove your clothes and throw them in the washer immediately when coming indoors. Then shower and wash your hair.

Finally, learn what symptoms might indicate a tick bite. Doing so will allow you to quickly seek medical intervention.

Common Symptoms of a Tick Bite. While it’s essential to know the symptoms, it’s also important to remember not all tick bites lead to Lyme disease. Most don’t end up being serious.

Signs of a tick bite include:

• A red spot or rash on the skin, referred to as a bullseye

• Itching or burning of the skin

• Localized pain (not as common)

If you are in doubt, call your primary care physician for advice or to schedule an appointment—or virtual telehealth visit—to put your concerns to rest.

Another seasonal irritant many seniors struggle with is allergies. What Caregivers Should Know about Seniors and Allergy Medications is packed with good information to keep an older loved one safe this summer. Give us a call at Seminole Shores Assisted Living to learn more about our care and services!


Seminole Shores Assisted Living Center, located in Norton Shores, Michigan, gives seniors the opportunity to be independent while knowing that assistance is available to serve them whenever they need it. The center offers housekeeping, laundry, medication management, 24 hour care, three home-cooked meals a day and a full activity and event program. A pet-friendly community, Seminole Shores Assisted Living Center is owned and operated by Heritage Property Management Inc., located in Grand Haven, Michigan. Heritage Property Management Inc. is a family-owned company that operates nine assisted living homes and five independent living homes across the state of Michigan. Learn more at seminoleshoresalc.com and call (231) 780-2944 for a tour.

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Contents:

EVENTS
It's Penguin Month at Hackley Public Library! Question a pediatrician, talk about an award winning graphic novel, enjoy story times for kids, a brewery tour for adults and more at your neighborhood library. More info here.

SENIORS
Time spent outdoors in the Great Lakes region requires staying on guard for ticks, an arachnid linked to Lyme disease. Kurt Sapp from Seminole Shores Living Center details how to stay safe outdoors this summer.

COMMUNITY
Too many American high school graduates lack college or career ready courses of study. Christine Robere of United Way of the Lakeshore talks about what this skills gap means for our young people in this informative article.

LAKESHORE STAR GAZER
This month, clear skies contain many interesting sights for sky watchers including some of the best views of the Milky Way if you observe away from the city lights. Astronomer Jonathan Truax is your guide!

BUSTER KEATON
In Convict 13 (1920), Buster once again is dangerously misunderstood by the police, changing places with an escaped prisoner and scheduled to hang! Enjoy the film, complete and online, here.

EVENTS CALENDAR
It's tricky to track and discover events in Michigan right now. Check in here with Muskegon County's best online events calendar, courtesy of Visit Muskegon!

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Inquire about ADVERTISING here.

Muskegon Magazine.com is locally owned and produced. Gary Scott Beatty, editor and publisher. Contents and design © Copyright Gary Scott Beatty, 1509 Princeton Rd., Muskegon, Michigan 49441.

Muskegon Magazine.com is an educational and informational service to help you make informed decisions. The content, tools and services of Muskegon Magazine.com are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Privacy.