The warm summer months are ideal for spending time outdoors enjoying the sunshine. However, having fun in the sun also means taking the necessary precautions to protect our skin. This is especially important for our senior relatives, as they face higher risk factors for sun exposure. In this Senior Helpers blog post, we provide caregivers with practical summer skin protection tips specifically geared toward seniors.
1. Choose Sunscreen With Adequate SPF Levels
Using the right sunscreen is one of the smartest ways to protect senior skin from harmful sun rays. Look for a sunscreen with at least SPF 30, which blocks about 97% of UVB rays. Ensure it provides broad-spectrum protection and shields against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen generously to get the best protection. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. It is important not to overlook often-forgotten areas like the lips and ears, as they can be equally susceptible to sun damage.
2. Wear Protective Clothing
Sunscreen alone is not enough protection. Encourage your senior loved ones to wear protective clothing when spending time outdoors. Long sleeves and pants made of lightweight, tightly woven fabric can help block the sun's rays. Invest in a wide-brimmed hat that can protect the face and neck. Always remind them to wear sunglasses with UV protection to shield their eyes from harmful rays. Protective clothing helps prevent sunburn and also significantly reduces the risk of developing skin cancer.
3. Stay Hydrated
The summer heat can quickly lead to dehydration, particularly for seniors with a diminished sense of thirst. Encourage your loved ones to drink water throughout the day, even if they don't feel thirsty. Watch for signs of dehydration, including dizziness, rapid heartbeat, or dark-colored urine. Offer flavored water or add fresh fruit to help increase water intake and make it more appealing. Regularly consuming water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables is another way to stay hydrated.
4. Seek Shade When Outdoors
Summer skin protection doesn't stop at sunscreen and clothing. It is also a good idea to limit sun exposure at peak hours. Stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun's rays are the strongest. Encourage your senior relatives to seek shade under an umbrella or a shaded structure while attending outdoor events. Plan fun indoor activities during the hottest part of the day to stay cool and sun-protected.
5. Additional Skin Protection Tips
The best defense against skin cancer is early detection. Make it a habit to check your senior loved one's skin for changes. Look out for new moles, growths, or discolorations. Scheduling annual skin exams with a dermatologist can help catch any issues early on. Don't hesitate to discuss your concerns with their healthcare professional.
Senior Helpers Helps Seniors Make the Most of the Summer Months
Proper summer skin protection helps seniors enjoy the sunny days safely and comfortably. Senior Helpers offers quality, in-home care services from specialized care to companionship services. If you live in the Aiken, Greenwood, North Augusta, or Chapin areas and need assistance in caring for your senior relative, contact Senior Helpers Greenwood-Aiken, SC. Our dedicated team is here to help provide the best possible care for your loved ones.