Outdoor activities are especially appealing when the sun is shining and the weather is warm, but seniors need to take extra precautions to ensure their safety through the long summer season. Changes that occur during the natural aging process make seniors particularly sensitive to the harmful effects of too much summer sun and heat. If you are a family caregiver in Phoenix, read on to learn more about keeping your aging loved one safe this summer.
Sun Safety Tips
When heading out into the great outdoors during the summer, seniors should dress in lightweight, light-colored clothing that will help deflect the sun’s heat. Wearing a broad-brimmed hat or carrying a sun umbrella is also a good idea. Phoenix elder care experts also recommend that all outdoor exercise should be limited to the early morning or evening hours.
Know Your Sunscreen
Two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays are harmful to the skin: UVA and UVB. Because both types of UV rays cause skin cancer, it is important for seniors to make sure they use a sunscreen when going outside. Sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum” or “full spectrum” offer both UVA and UVB protection, and will help protect from melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Look for products with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15.
Seniors and Dehydration
Seniors can become dehydrated much more rapidly than their younger counterparts, and for a variety of reasons. Loss of muscle mass, for example, can result in a 10% decrease in the total level of water in the body. With age, the amount of wastes that the kidneys can filter per minute diminishes as well, which can decrease the body’s ability to store water and sodium. Even our thirst perception becomes less accurate as we age. To minimize the effects that aging can have on the body’s hydration, it is important for seniors to continually sip on water when they’re out in the sun, even when they don’t feel thirsty.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are especially dangerous for seniors, which is why most experts recommend that seniors remain indoors when outdoor temperatures soar. For more information about senior safety, contact the leading provider of Phoenix in-home care, Home Care Assistance. We are available 24/7 and are more than happy to answer any of your questions – 602-388-1085.