Summer has finally arrived, and everyone is excited to spend their days enjoying the warm sunshine. The sun’s rays can benefit seniors and positively affect their overall health, but necessary measures need to be taken to protect their skin from the sun. To enjoy the benefits of the sun while minimizing risks, it is important to follow these simple reminders to help keep your skin healthy at any age.
Sunscreen and light protective clothing are two simple ways to protect the body from the harmful effects of the sun. When choosing your sunscreen, ensure the SPF is higher than 30 and apply it all over the exposed skin, including the face, neck, legs, and arms. Additionally, wide-brimmed hats offer shade to the front and parts of the neck. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothes with long sleeves and pants are also great choices to help to reduce sun damage.
To minimize direct sun exposure, seek shade during peak sunlight hours, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Plan outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s intensity is lower, or try your best to stay in the shade, whether under an umbrella, a tree, or a canopy.
It is also essential to stay hydrated because dehydration can dramatically increase a person’s risk of heat exhaustion and may lead to heat stroke, which requires hospitalization and may be life-threatening. Drinking lots of water throughout the day and eating foods with high water content, such as watermelon, can also help keep you hydrated.
Be mindful of what type of medication and skin conditions you have. Certain medications and skin conditions can increase sensitivity to the sun. Some antibiotics, antihistamines, and acne medications can make the skin more susceptible to sunburn. Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn about the potential side effects of all your medications.
With proper precautions, sunlight exposure can have many benefits for seniors., Sunshine naturally contains vitamin D, which is necessary for the body to absorb calcium and support bone health. Sunlight exposure has also been connected to enhanced mood and general mental health. Here are some other quick benefits of sunshine:
- Stronger Bones
- Cancer Prevention
- Heal Skin Conditions
- Promote Eye Health
- Vitamin D Deficiency Prevention
- Increased Wakefulness and Improved Sleep
- Potential for Weight Loss
- Heart Disease Prevention and Lower Blood Pressure
To ensure residents receive these benefits, Loretto offers many recreational activities to residents that involve soaking up the sun. For example, staff often accompany residents on walks outside on warmer days. This thoughtful gesture ensures that our residents receive the essential dose of sunshine vital for their overall well-being. Loretto also tries to get residents outside as much as possible by taking them on exciting outings. For example, The Nottingham recently took the memory care and assisted living residents to the Syracuse Zoo on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. These are just a few examples of the multitude of enriching experiences Loretto offers to its wonderful residents.
Follow the tips and tricks above to receive a healthy daily dose of sunshine. Interested in being a part of a community where you can enjoy all of the recreational activities Loretto has to offer? Contact us today to find a community where you can shine: https://lorettocny.org/loretto-life/