The Importance of Sun Protection in Older Adults

You know that using sun protection helps prevent skin from aging, but what about people who are already older? Do they need to use sun protection, too? While concerns about vanity may not be as prevalent among the over-65 bracket, it does not mean they should forgo sunscreen. In fact, aging skin presents specific concerns to the elderly and unique challenges for their family members and homecare providers.

Skin becomes increasingly delicate and more prone to damage as we age. An inability to attract restorative T cells to damaged areas means aging skin does not heal as well, leaving seniors vulnerable to infections and skin cancer. If you provide senior care in Phoenix, or if you look after an elderly loved one, follow these tips for sun protection:

  • No Tanning – Like burns, tans are a signal of skin damage. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, tans and burns increase risk of cancer– even more so in older adults who have sustained decades of damage.
  • Find Shade – Use an umbrella, sit on a shady porch, or seek refuge under a tree.
  • Stay Inside – Not always, of course, but do know when to avoid the outdoors: the sun’s rays are strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Make Sunscreen Routine – Even a short walk or standing in front of a sunny window causes skin damage. To lower their risks, ensure seniors use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day, even if outings are not planned.
  • Wear Protective Clothing – Loose, lightweight clothing is ideal sun protection for older adults. A long-sleeved shirt and pants offers the same protection as sunscreen but does not need reapplication. UV-blocking sunglasses, wide-rimmed hats, and window shades for cars also help.
  • Moisturize – Aging skin is drier, a problem made worse by sun damage. Non-greasy lotions and creams protect and restore it.

While some dismiss seniors’ need for sun protection, it is extremely important that they take precautions. If you are an AZ home health provider, be sure to include sun protection measures in your patients’ regimens, especially in the coming summer months.

To find out more about comprehensive in home care solutions for seniors, please contact Cypress Homecare. Our expert staff of AZ home health workers offer a wide range of senior care skills in Phoenix, including assistance with engaging in sun protection. Please call 602-264-8009 or contact us to speak with a Cypress Homecare representative today.

Posted on May 30, 2014