Community Blog

Elder Care Tips: Managing Mosquito Bites

By Erin Carll

Elder Care in Gibsonia PA

One of the best parts about the summer months is being able to get outside and enjoy activities such as cookouts, swimming, hiking, and just relaxing in the warmer weather. An elder care provider can help your parent to enjoy this season in a way that is healthy and safe by accompanying them during activities and helping them to handle risks and issues that arise. One of the most common issues of the summer months is mosquito bites. Knowing how to properly deal with these irritating bites can help protect your parent from serious complications and encourage them to enjoy a more active summer season.

June 26 through July 2 is National Mosquito Control Week. During this week, encourage your parent to take steps to prevent mosquitos thriving in their lawn. This can include removing sources of standing water, eliminating places for the adults to spend time such as piles of wet leaves or tall grass, and changing out their usual white bulbs for yellow ones that will not appeal to the bugs as much. While they are doing all of these things, they should also educate themselves on ways that they can handle bites if they do occur. Knowing these simple care skills can help your parent to deal with these unpleasant visitors comfortably rather than letting their impact linger.

It is important to remember that most mosquito bites are relatively harmless. Though they do suck blood when they bite, the bite is virtually undetectable when it happens and the bite itself will go away on its own. Caring for it is simply for the purpose of easing the discomfort of the symptoms. In some situations, however, the mosquito may carry a serious infection such as West Nile Virus. If your parent has been bitten by a mosquito and begins to show unusual symptoms such as a fever, it is important that you get them into the doctor quickly to ensure that they receive the necessary treatment for this potentially dangerous infection.

If your parent does experience a mosquito bite, some ways that you or an elderly home care provider can help your parent to deal with the symptoms and let the bite heal include:

  • Wash the area gently to remove dirt and germs that could increase the risk of infection, but avoid rubbing the bite itself as this will agitate the histamines that cause the itch response.
  • Apply a cold pack or ice in a towel to the area to calm the itching and start to ease the swelling that can occur.
  • Instruct your parent to apply a cortisone cream or calamine lotion to calm the itching feeling and encourage the skin to heal.
  • Discourage your parent from scratching the bite. Not only will this actually make it worse, but scratching can open the skin, making it vulnerable to germs and infection. This is particularly problematic for seniors due to their thinner, more fragile skin. If your parent continues to scratch at the bite, consider covering it loosely with gauze until it goes away.


http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mosquito-bites/in-depth/health-tip/art-20049071

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home elder care in Gibsonia, PA please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.