Physical activity is important to your aging parent. In fact, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease recommends adults get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Your aging parent may not like the idea of buying fitness equipment or going for long walks, so gardening is a great solution.
In a report released by the University of Central Nevada, an hour’s time in the garden can help seniors gain enough physical activity. Not only will gardening help with muscle tone and flexibility, but your mom also gains a fridge full of nutritious produce as an added reward. Time spent in a garden, however, does increase the potential for contact with summer’s insects. Here are some things to keep on hand in case your mom does get bitten or stung.
Keep Baking Soda on Hand.
For stings, a paste of baking soda and water will help ease the pain and swelling. If it’s a bee sting, quickly remove the stinger by sliding the edge of scissors or a debit/credit card at an angle to pull the stinger out from a sideways angle. You can also scrape it with a long fingernail. This keeps the venom sack from releasing more toxin into the body.
Buy a Tick Removal Tool.
Ticks often carry diseases that you don’t want your mom to get. Spend a few dollars on a tick removal device and keep it in an easy-to-reach location. If your mom finds a tick after gardening, remove it using the device. If you don’t have a tick remover, use tweezers and pull straight up without crushing the body and leaving the head embedded in the flesh. Call a doctor to see if prescription medications should be used to prevent Lyme disease and other illnesses transmitted by ticks.
Talk to Your Mom’s Doctor.
It’s a good idea to keep an antihistamine and a soothing lotion like calamine or a topical steroid on hand for bites. If your mom is allergic to bee stings or other biting insects, make sure an EpiPen is on hand for emergencies. You should verify that your mom is not on any prescription medications that can lead to reactions when taken with an over-the-counter remedy.
If you think your mom may need help spending time outside, call a senior care agency. The help of a caregiver can ease your mind and help your mom enjoy time outside without fear. Senior care agencies are happy to work with your budget while also covering the help your mom needs when spending time out in the garden.
If you or someone you know needs senior care in Hutchinson, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.