Every year, the summer months bring long days, warm nights and lots of sunshine. At senior communities, like Anthology of Denton, there are multiple opportunities to take in the beautiful weather, like walking through the landscaped grounds and enjoying a meal outdoors. While summertime can mean leisurely strolls with friends, long hours in the pool and eating hot dogs with family, the higher temperatures can also mean a greater risk for health concerns. Especially for older adults, heat-related health problems can occur for a variety of reasons. Seniors who have underlying health conditions, such as heart disease or COPD, may be at even greater risk for experiencing a health event due to high temperatures.
In order to have the best summer possible, it is important for seniors to understand how to stay safe during the warmer months including sun safety for seniors and hydration for seniors.
What Is UV Safety Month?
July is the perfect time to discuss sun safety for seniors because July is UV Safety Awareness Month! Ultraviolet (UV) rays are a type of invisible radiation that come from the sun, sunlamps and tanning beds. UV rays can penetrate and change skin cells.
There are three types of UV rays:
Ultraviolet A (UVA). UVA rays penetrate deep into the layers of the skin. This can lead to premature signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.
Ultraviolet B (UVB). The primary cause of sunburns, UVB rays are capable of thickening the skin and causing several types of skin cancers – including melanoma. UVB rays penetrate the outermost layer of skin and cause damage to skin cells. UVB can also damage the eyes and the immune system.
Ultraviolet C (UVC). UVC is the strongest type of UV radiation. However, UVC rays do not reach the Earth’s surface because they are blocked by the ozone layer of our atmosphere. The only way a person can be exposed to UVC radiation is from an artificial source, such as a lamp. If a person is exposed, UVC rays can cause severe skin burns and eye injuries within a few seconds
In the United States, the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure, and UV rays are at their greatest intensity during the late spring and early summer. At Anthology of King of Prussia, the Elements Life Enrichment program allows residents to fill their lives with activities and hobbies they enjoy, both indoors and outdoors, throughout all hours of the day.
What Are the Best Sun Safety Tips for Seniors?
During the summer months, the UV rays are exceedingly strong. Spending extended time outdoors without taking the proper precautions can be dangerous for anyone, but especially for older adults.
Here are some sun safety tips for seniors to help reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer:
Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30; reapply every two hours for the best protection.
Enjoy the shade! Spending time under a tree, an umbrella or a covered porch can minimize exposure to the sun and to UV rays. At Anthology of Town and Country, there are beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces for residents to spend time with friends and family, while staying out of the heat.
Wear clothing that protects. There are many types of clothing and accessories that offer protection from the sun’s rays. Long-sleeved shirts, hats, sunglasses and long pants are all excellent choices!
Sunburn is not the only risk for seniors during the summer; seniors are also prone to dehydration. One reason that seniors are likely to become dehydrated is because age-related changes can weaken older adults’ sense that they are thirsty. An older body also has a harder time adjusting to fluctuating temperatures.
Here are five hydration tips for seniors:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults of all ages consume 48–64 ounces of liquid every day. Seniors should drink a glass of milk, juice or water with every meal.
Set hydration breaks during the day to drink water.
Utilize reusable water bottles that are clearly marked in order to know how much water is consumed in a day.
Make water more exciting by adding lemon, lime or berries!
Enjoy foods with a high water content, such as berries, melon, oranges, tomatoes and celery. At Anthology of Louisville, residents can work closely with the in-house chef to ensure there are options and menu choices to keep them hydrated!
About Anthology Senior Living
At Anthology Senior Living, the care for and happiness of our residents is our top priority. Our communities are committed to following our values to create a senior living experience based on hospitality. Our experienced caregivers work hand in hand with residents and their families to ensure needs are met, concerns are addressed, health issues are supported and information is shared openly.
Interested in finding an Anthology Senior Living community near you? Try our location finder! Want to talk to a member of our team, learn more about our communities and ask any questions that come to mind? Contact us today!