Jul 28, 2017 by Lisa Carson RN, BSN
Now that another Lubbock, TX summer is in full swing, older adults tend to spend as much of their time as they can outdoors. The sunshine and fresh air are healthy for seniors, in moderation. It can be quite dangerous when seniors fail to protect themselves from the harmful ultraviolet or UV rays. Since July is UV awareness month, consider the following elderly care services and handy tips to help older adults stay safe from the Texas sun all summer long.
Sunscreen is critically important for Texas seniors. 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.
Many older adults get distracted and forget to drink enough water while they are spending time in the hot 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 dehydration, senior citizens should make it a priority to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. A home caregiver can be a great help in making sure that seniors drink enough water to avoid sunstroke and other problems in the summer heat.
In addition to protecting their skin with sunscreen, seniors need to protect their eyes with a good 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. Speaking to their eye doctor prior to making a purchase is a smart move.
Dressing in the right summer clothing is also important for safety and good health in the hot Texas summer. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing is ideal for older adults who are out in the sun. If possible, this clothing should be worn in light colors because they tend to reflect the heat and sunlight better than dark colors. Clothes comprised of cotton that can absorb moisture, ones that a senior can see through when they hold them up to the light, and synthetic clothing that traps moisture are all highly recommended.
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.
By avoiding the sun during the heat of the day, 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.
The intense summers in Lubbock, TX can be tough on seniors but elderly care services can help. Talk to a care specialist today to find out more about the in home care services offered in Lubbock and the surrounding areas.