How to Reduce the Risk of Sunburns in the Elderly

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The warm weather provides an opportunity for seniors to go outside and enjoy nature. Being around nature can boost mood, alleviate depression, and provide the chance to take up healthy hobbies like gardening. It’s also a great way to spend more time with friends and family members. Before you head outside with your elderly loved one, it’s important to reduce his or her risk for sunburn as much as possible. Here are a few tips on preventing sunburns in the elderly. 

Head for the Shade

When your loved one is outdoors, make sure he or she spends as much time in the shade as possible. Take advantage of tall trees and buildings. If you’re going to a picnic, invest in a large umbrella or tent. 

Sunburns are just one of the many issues older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Green Valley families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Apply Sunscreen Properly 

Sunscreen can prevent sunburns, but it needs to be applied correctly. Choose a broad-spectrum product that protects the skin from the sun’s three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Make sure the SPF is 15 or higher, and always check the expiration date on the bottle. If it’s over three years old, toss it and buy a new product. About half an hour before your loved one goes outside, apply the sunscreen in generous amounts, and reapply it every couple of hours while spending time in the sun. 

Dress Appropriately 

The clothing your loved one wears can play a big role in the prevention of sunburn. Start with a hat with a bill or a wide brim to keep the sun away from the face. Sunglasses can also protect the eyes from sunlight. Look for loose, long-sleeved shirts and pants that are lightweight, light in color, and made from fabrics that keep the body cool, like cotton.

Seniors who need help getting dressed can benefit from professional in-home care. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Green Valley respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Plan Activities Carefully 

Your loved one shouldn’t miss out on fun activities just because of the sun, so you may need to make some extra effort to plan accordingly. For example, if you are on vacation and want to spend time on the beach, head out after 4pm when the sun isn’t too bright. Use the earlier hours to have lunch, see a movie, or go shopping in a mall. If your loved one wants to work in the garden, he or she should do so early in the morning or later in the evening. The sun is at its peak between 10am and 4pm, which can increase the risk of sunburn. 

Check on Medications 

Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs can increase a person’s susceptibility to sunburn. These medications include ibuprofen, some cholesterol medications, antidepressants, and certain antibiotics. Check with the doctor or pharmacist to find out if any of your loved one’s medications fall into these categories, and if they do, be extra careful with sun exposure.

Engaging in outdoor activities during the summer season is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Green Valley, AZ, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at 520-625-2050 today.

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