Jul 27, 2017 by Sandra Hatch
It’s another beautiful Fresno, CA summer and more and more older adults are spending their days outdoors enjoying the bright sunshine, blue skies, and fresh air. Being outdoors and active is great for seniors, but it can also be quite dangerous when seniors don’t take precautions to protect themselves from the harmful ultraviolet or UV rays. Since July is UV awareness month, consider the following senior home care services and tips to help older adults stay safe in the sun all summer long.
All California residents know that sunscreen is a must when you live in this sunny state. But often seniors forget to reapply sunscreen as often as they should. By applying sunscreen on a regular basis, older adults can prevent painful burns, skin cancer, and a number of other serious conditions. In order for sunscreen to be effective, it needs to be reapplied every 2 hours. If your senior loved one has trouble remembering to wear sunscreen or has trouble applying sun screen senior home care services from a home health aide can provide the extra help that your loved one needs.
When picking out a sunscreen, older adults should look for one that is labeled as “broad spectrum protection” and in the range of 30 to 50 SPF. Additionally, it’s a good idea to opt for a sunscreen that is designed for sensitive or aging skin.
Drinking water is the most important thing that seniors can do to stay healthy in the summer. All too often, older adults get distracted and forget to drink water while they are spending time in the sun. Without enough water in their bodies, seniors risk becoming dehydrated and coping with serious problems such as fever, headaches, low blood pressure, dizziness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, and confusion.
To avoid dehydration, senior citizens should make it a priority to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Keeping a water bottle by their side or investing in a filtered water system may help them achieve this goal.
Although it’s tempting to spend hours and hours basking in the sun, doing so can be hazardous to older adults. Therefore, seniors should limit their time in the sun, especially during the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when the UV rays are most intense. Seniors should try to go outside in the early morning or early evening hours when there is more shade outside.
In addition to protecting their skin with sunscreen, seniors must remember to protect their eyes with a high quality pair of sunglasses. When searching for sunglasses, they should find a pair that boasts a 99 to 100% protection from UVA and UVB light. Speaking to their eye doctor prior to making a purchase is a smart move.
Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing is ideal for older adults who are out in the sun. If possible, this clothing should be worn in light colors because they tend to reflect the heat and sunlight better than dark colors. Clothes comprised of cotton that can absorb moisture, ones that a senior can see through when they hold them up to the light, and synthetic clothing that traps moisture are all highly recommended.
By avoiding the sun between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, applying and reapplying sunscreen, drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day, wearing a pair of sunglasses, and dressing appropriately, older adults can enjoy a sun-safe summer.
If your loved one in Fresno, CA is struggling to stay safe and healthy at home, contact us or call (559) 365-6440 to learn more about our personalized senior home care services. A little extra help can make it possible for your loved one to live safely and independently at home.