Jul 31, 2017 by Robert Myer
Summer is in session and older adults likely to spend more time outdoors enjoying the sunshine. Being outdoors and active is great for seniors, but it can also be dangerous if they don’t protect themselves from the harmful UV rays of the summer sun. Since July is UV awareness month, consider the following elderly care tips for helping seniors stay safe in the sun all summer.
Although it’s nice to spend an afternoon basking in the sun, doing so can be hazardous to seniors. Therefore, older adults should limit the time they spend in the sun, especially between the hours of 10am and 4pm when the sun’s 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.
Seniors who have to be outside during the most intense heat of the day should wear sun hats and carry umbrellas to shield them from the sun.
The importance of sunscreen cannot be overstated. Applying sunscreen on a daily basis can protect 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. Elderly care givers should be vigilant about reminding seniors to reapply their sunscreen often.
When shopping for a quality sunscreen, older adults and elderly care givers should look for one that is labeled as “broad spectrum protection” that has an SPF in the range of 30 to 50. It’s also a good idea to opt for a sunscreen that is designed for sensitive or aging skin.
The best clothing for seniors to wear is lightweight clothing made from natural fibers. If possible, this clothing should be worn in light colors that will reflect the heat and sunlight better than dark colors. Sun hats should be worn whenever going out in the sun.
Often senior adults get distracted and forget to drink water while they are spending time in the sun. Becoming dehydrated is a big problem for seniors. Without enough water in their bodies, seniors increase their risk of 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.
If your senior loved one in Gulfport, MS likes to spend time outside, but could use the help of an elderly care provider, contact us or call (601) 620-0872 today.