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How Can the Elderly Stay Safe in the Sun?

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on June 27, 2016

As the weather gets warmer, your senior loved one will likely want to spend time outdoors working in the garden, going to outings in the park, having cookouts with the family, or taking walks around the neighborhood. However, damage from the sun can be significant and prevent him or her from enjoying the summer fun. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care in Phoenix, have a few suggestions to help your loved one ward off the sun’s harmful effects.

Wear Layered Clothing 

Adjusting between the summer heat and the cooling effects of air conditioning can be hard on your loved one’s body, but wearing a few extra layers of clothing can help him or her remain comfortable both indoors and outdoors. Natural fabrics like cotton can be especially helpful in allowing skin to breathe during the warmer months. 

Stay Hydrated 

Since the body’s ability to conserve water decreases with age, seniors are more susceptible to dehydration than younger people. Your loved one may be less aware he or she is thirsty or have difficulty adjusting to temperature changes, which is why you should make sure he or she drinks plenty of water while in the sun. Failure to stay hydrated could lead to kidney failure, stroke, or a heart attack. 

Use Sunscreen 

Using a sunscreen product can help protect your loved one’s skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and prevent diseases like skin cancer. You can purchase sunscreen in many forms, including lip balms, lotions, creams, gels, wipes, and ointments. Keep in mind sunscreen alone will not prolong the time your loved one can spend in the sun. If he or she will be in the sun for a long period, other forms of sun protection should be used as well. 

Wear Sunglasses 

When your loved one spends time in the sun, he or she will need eye protection from the UV light. These rays can lead to age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness among seniors over 65. Wearing sunglasses can also help shield your loved one’s eyes from the harmful rays that increase the risk of cataracts and pinguecula.

If your loved one needs help getting out of the house this summer to run errands, attend social events, and exercise, consider hiring a professional caregiver to keep him or her safe while in the sun. Home Care Assistance provides Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care in Phoenix, and our caregivers are available 24/7 to help with various tasks in and outside the house. For more information, please call one of our qualified Care Managers at 602.388.1085 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.