The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that head lice is one of the most common communicable diseases throughout the United States. While it most frequently impacts children who are in school, it can and does also impact adults. This is particularly true for family members of children who become infested, and those adults who are in medical facilities or treatment centers for extended periods and come into contact with an infected person there.
Though the lice themselves are not dangerous and do not carry any diseases, they are uncomfortable and can lead to scratching, which can make your parent vulnerable to bacterial infections of the skin. As a family caregiver it is important to not only take the steps to protect your parent from lice, but also to manage them effectively should they develop.
Use these tips to help prevent lice:
- Check your children for lice regularly if they attend school, daycare, or another activity involving contact with other children. Be particularly vigilant if you have received notice that there has been an outbreak at this location, or if they have friends who have experienced lice.
- If your child is infested with lice, or you hear of an outbreak of lice at a medical facility where your parent has been treated, use a preventative oil or spray to help reduce the risk of spreading the infestation.
- If your child is infested with lice, use homecare so you do not need to be near your parent, which can control the spread of the insects.
If your aging parent has become infested by lice, managing the infestation quickly is important for the prevention of spread, and the reduction of infection risk.
Some ways you can manage lice include:
Use a lice comb to remove lice and nits from the hair. Work on one section of hair at a time, and be thorough with removal.
Use a lice removal shampoo treatment after using the comb to get any nits or bugs you might have missed. It is important not to condition their hair, or use a combination shampoo/conditioner in their hair prior to manual removal and use of the treatment as it will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. Do not wash their hair for two full days following the use of this treatment.
Check your parent’s scalp after three days to look for signs of further infestation. If the bugs are moving slowly or not moving at all, or if you do not see any bugs or nits, do not retreat.
Wash any soft materials your parent has come into contact with within the last 48 hours before they received treatment. This includes clothing, pillowcases, sheets, and blankets. If there are items that cannot be laundered in very hot water, and dried in a very hot dryer, place the items in a black plastic trash bag, close the bag completely, and leave them there for at least two weeks. If possible, place them out in the sun for several hours.
Even if you started your caregiver experience completely confident in your ability to manage all of your parent’s needs, you may find their challenges and limitations are more than you can handle on your own. It is also likely these needs will increase as time passes, making it more challenging for you to fulfill. If you are going through this, now is the time for you to consider introducing homecare.
A homecare services provider can be with your aging parent on a schedule that is right not just for their needs, but also for the level of care you already give them. Customized services fill care gaps, provide additional companionship, and support independence while also helping your parent stay safe in their home. Because this homecare is adaptable and flexible, it means you can feel confident when your parent’s needs increase further, or you are facing limitations that keep you from managing all of their needs, the care will increase to maintain your parent’s quality of life.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare Services in St. Augustine FL, please contact the caring staff at Home-Call Healthcare. Call today 904-861-0424.