Jul 31, 2017 by Marlin Duncan
Now that summer is here in Wilkes-Barre, PA, older adults are spending their days outdoors enjoying the sunshine, blue skies, and fresh air while they can. The sunshine is wonderful but it can also be quite dangerous when seniors don’t do enough to protect themselves from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Since July is UV awareness month, review the following elderly home care tips to help older adults stay safe in the sun all summer long.
Drinking water is one of the most important things seniors can do to stay healthy in the heat. Even when it’s not that hot outside the sun can still cause damage to seniors. Often older adults get distracted and forget to drink water while they are spending time in the sun. When they don’t drink enough water seniors risk becoming dehydrated and coping with serious problems such as fever, headaches, low blood pressure, dizziness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, and confusion.
To avoid becoming dehydrated senior citizens should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day. Seniors who have trouble remembering to drink more water can be reminded by an elderly home care giver to drink more often.
Although it’s tempting to spend hours and hours basking in the sun, doing so can be hazardous to older adults. Therefore, seniors should limit their time in the sun, especially during the hours of 10am and 4pm when the 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.
Lightweight, loose-fitting layers are the best clothes to wear in a PA summer. Layers make it easy to adjust to the temperature difference in the morning and in the afternoon. Cotton or natural fiber clothing in light colors are the clothes that are most recommended for seniors. Also it’s important to wear clothes that are easy to put on and take off. If your senior loved one has trouble getting dressed an elderly home care aide can be a big help with personal care.
The importance of sunscreen should not be overlooked by senior citizens. By applying sunscreen on a daily basis, 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.
When shopping for a sunscreen, older adults should look for one that is labeled as “broad spectrum protection” and in the range of 30 to 50 SPF. Additionally, it’s a good idea to opt for a sunscreen that is designed for sensitive or aging skin.
In addition to protecting their skin with sunscreen, seniors should also be protecting their eyes by wearing a high quality pair of sunglasses. When searching for sunglasses, they should find a pair that boasts a 99 to 100% protection from UVA and UVB light. UVA and UVB protection is critically important. Speaking to their eye doctor prior to making a purchase is a smart move. So is having several pairs of sunglasses in key locations so there is always a pair when they need them.
By avoiding the sun between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, applying and reapplying sunscreen, drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day, wearing a pair of sunglasses, and dressing appropriately, older adults can enjoy a sun-safe summer.
Temperatures are rising each summer in Wilkes Barre, PA. If your senior loved one could benefit from elderly home care services, contact us or call (570) 486-6492 to schedule a free in-home consultation.