Now that it is finally summer; the sun and our moods are brighter. We are spending more time outdoors now that the chill of winter and unpredictability of spring is gone. With these warmer days and longer time spent outdoors, it is important to always remember to wear sunscreen. The sun’s rays are beneficial to us by supplying our daily requirement of Vitamin D with normal outdoor activity. While this is important for our health, we can also enrich our diet with Vitamin D through fish, milk, dairy and eggs. Prolonged exposure to the sun can have harmful effects. On top of aging our skin prematurely, it can also encourage the development of cancer and damage. Sun damaged skin is weaker, leathery and will bruise more easily.
The elderly should be especially careful about spending too much time outdoors without sunscreen and wear other forms of sun protection such as a hat, long sleeves and an umbrella. The summer sun is hot and it’s good to remind your senior loved one to dress in light-colored, loose, cotton clothing. There are many medications such as anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and acne medications that can make the skin extra susceptible to the sun’s strong rays.
When applying sunscreen, be generous. A shot glass full will cover your body thoroughly to protect against the harmful UV rays. Be sure to reapply every few hours, as sweat and water can reduce the strength of protection. Avoid peak sunlight hours between 10am and 3pm to avoid the strongest ultraviolet rays. Wear an SPF 15, at the very least. When all else fails, cover all exposed areas and wear a wide-brimmed hat whenever possible.
Since it is almost July, it is important to find safe summertime activities for your senior loved one to enjoy. When the sun is shining high and bright in the sky, and the heat feels oppressive, make it a day to organize some scrapbooks and share some family memories indoors with the air conditioning on to keep cool. Your loved one might have a closet that they have been putting off sorting through. Make the summer your time for spring cleaning when the hot weather isn’t as enjoyable as in earlier months.
There’s no need to sweat or risk a heat related illness to enjoy the summer. Avoid the peak hours of sunshine and enjoy the weather first thing in the morning or early dusk. There are usually outdoor movies playing in nearby communities or local concerts in the park.
Shopping is an easy way to spend time indoors. If your loved one is looking to just get out of the house for a bit to break up the day, take them to the mall for a lunch and some sales. If the mall has a movie theater, you might find a relaxing afternoon in front of a new flick to be refreshing, especially in the wonderful air conditioning. Usually afternoon matinees are cheaper, as an added bonus!
When work or summer time travel makes family caregiving a challenge, you can count on the Senior Helpers of Santa Barbara to provide in home senior care service from compassionate caregivers trained in Alzheimer's and dementia. It is important to remember that elder care is only effective when provided by a qualified elder care companion. The compassionate senior care specialists at Senior Helpers can also guide you through the process of receiving the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Benefit if your elderly loved one is a veteran. In home senior care and in home assisted living allows your loved one to stay in the comforts of their own home for as long as possible while receiving the level of care they need Senior Helpers of Santa Barbara understands the importance of training and experience, and makes sure that all in home caregivers are also trained in Alzheimer's and dementia care. For more information about short or long term services with Senior Helpers of Santa Barbara, serving all areas of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Ynez, and Carpinteria, California, call 805-687-7777 today.