Getting fresh air and sunshine is beneficial for older adults. Not only does getting out and staying active help stave off depression and sharpen cognition, but the sun is an important source of vitamin D. However, it’s important to protect your senior loved one’s skin from the sun’s harsh rays. Use these simple tips from trusted Palm Beach in-home stroke care provider, Home Care Assistance, to help your elderly family member avoid sun damage in the coming months.
1. Provide Plenty of Fluids
Seniors dehydrate more quickly, especially when the weather is hot. Make sure your loved one is drinking at least eight glasses of water per day. If you know you’ll be out for most of the day, freeze some water bottles the night before so your loved one will have cool water all day.
2. Apply Sunscreen
It might sound obvious, but in a rush it’s easy to forget sunblock. Help your loved one apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 approximately 15 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours, or more often if your loved one is sweating or swimming.
3. Watch the Clock
On the hottest days, avoid going outside during peak sun hours between 10am and 4pm. Instead, you or your loved one’s Palm Beach, FL caregiver should plan early morning walks or twilight excursions.
4. Dress for Success
Encourage your senior loved one to choose light colored clothing made of breathable material like cotton. Keeping skin covered is best, with loose long sleeves and pants. He or she should also wear a wide brimmed hat, as well as sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
5. Know the Warning Signs
Heat stroke can be quite dangerous for an older adult. Keep an eye out for confusion, disorientation, exhaustion, headache, nausea, and a rapid pulse, especially if your loved one has been out in the sun for longer than 30 to 60 minutes.
In addition to these tips, review your loved one’s medications. Some prescriptions can cause extra sensitivity to the sun’s rays, making it dangerous to spend too much time outdoors.
Learn more about senior safety in the warmer months by reaching out to Home Care Assistance of Palm Beach. Call 561.429.8292 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation with an experienced Care Manager who can elaborate on how an hourly or live-in caregiver can help your senior loved one maintain a safe, happy and healthy lifestyle year-round.