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Promoting Sun Safety for Seniors

August 14, 2018 | Blog

Caring for Sundowner's Syndrome

As the summer continues to bring higher temperatures, it becomes even more important to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays- especially for seniors. Seniors are at a higher risk for developing skin diseases including skin cancer and melanoma, especially Caucasian men over the age of 65. Unfortunately, seniors tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to protecting themselves from certain complications such as dehydration that comes with the increasing temperatures. Here are a few safety tips that senior citizens should follow this summer.

Sun Safety Only Becomes More Important as You Age

There is a common misconception among seniors that, “There’s no point in protecting themselves since the damage has been done.” However, proper sun safety techniques only become more important as we age. According to the official website on skin cancer, “The odds of developing skin cancer rise as you age; in fact, between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have at least one skin cancer.” As the summer continues to shine down on us, be sure to prioritize skin protection for seniors during any outings or prolonged encounters with the sun.

Sunlight Can Lead to Cataracts

The skin is not the only part of the body that can be impacted by the sun’s UV rays. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can also lead to cataracts, especially for senior citizens. Medical Guardian notes that, “Many people don’t realize that prolonged exposure to sunlight can lead to cataracts.” A few symptoms of cataracts include: cloudy or blurred vision, poor night vision and double vision. Providing eye protection such as sunglasses can help keep the seniors’ eyesight safe from the sun.

Higher Temperatures Cause Dehydration

One of the simplest ways to keep cool during the summer months is often overlooked- drinking plenty of water. Remaining hydrated is especially vital for seniors because, as you age, your body loses the ability to actually tell if you’re thirsty or not. discussed the importance of keeping seniors hydrated during the summer by saying, “Drinking plenty of water during the hot summer months is a great way to stay hydrated and safe while out in the sun.” Make sure to keep seniors safe by providing plenty of water, and other fun ways to keep hydrated, this summer.

At Spring Hills Senior Communities, we understand the growing importance of proper sun safety techniques and practices for our senior population. Our Director of Program Development and Training, Rachel Helfand, articulated that, “Senior citizens are at an increased risk of skin diseases and other complications caused by the sun’s intense UV rays during the summer months. That is why we offer sun safety education programs to keep our seniors informed on the importance of proper sun safety practices as you age. Apart from that, we also make sure our care providers are stocked with plenty of sunscreen and water bottles during any outings to keep our seniors safe.” To learn more about our Signature Touches, contact us.

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