Spending time outdoors is important for the health of most individuals. Fresh air and time in the sun help boost mood and overall quality of life. For older individuals, this can be especially important. But safety in the sun is also very important. Proper sun protection when outdoors can reduce health complications for older individuals.

Sun Safety Isn’t Just for the Summer

Most people think that sunblock is only for the beach or a day by the pool. But the sun can affect you year-round. While spring is a great time to enjoy the outdoors without blaring heat, it can still be a factor.

Why Sun Protection Matters More with Age

As you age, your skin gets thinner and frailer. This makes it more susceptible to sun damage. Over the years, your nervous system receptors dull, causing you to be less responsive to hot temperatures or early signs of dehydration. Because of all of these factors, aging adults need to be much more careful in the sun.

Appropriate Clothing for the Weather

Sun damage doesn’t just happen on the beach in the summer. Wearing weather-appropriate clothes can help with minimizing the effects of the sun. However, not all clothes are built the same way. Light-colored clothing absorbs less sunlight and UV rays. This will help keep your older loved one cooler and less affected by the sun. Breathable fabrics can also help them stay cooler outside on hot days. For added protection, consider clothes rated for Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). This type of clothing protects against UV rays.

Hats and Sunglasses

Wide-brimmed hats offer sun protection to the face, neck, and ears. This can keep them cool while reducing UV damage to these easily-exposed areas. Sunglasses offer protection for the eyes. Look for options that are rated to block 100% of UV rays. Additionally, polarized lenses can help reduce glare in high-light areas.

Hydration is Essential in the Sun

Staying hydrated is essential to staying cool and feeling comfortable while outdoors. Hydration is also important to health in general. Most older individuals do not drink enough water, as is. Sun exposure and spending time in the heat can cause the body to expel more water through perspiration. Your loved one should drink water before, during, and after outdoor activities. They should also avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration.

Using Effective Sunscreen

Sunscreen is important for proper protection outside. Look for products that protect against UVA and UVB rays, and are SPF 30 or more. They should apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure, and then every 2 hours while outside.

Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has provided excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help older and disabled individuals live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us or call (718)-979-6900.