Families Urged to Help Seniors Be Sun Smart: Leading Provider of In-Home Senior Care, Senior Helpers, Shines Light on Sun Safety Stories

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June brings the official start to summer along with picnics, trips to the beach, and a long list of fun. The warmth of the summer sun is meant to be enjoyed. But the sun can be a dangerous threat especially for senior citizens. That’s why Senior Helpers, the fastest growing provider of in-home senior care, reminds seniors and their loved ones to become sun smart.

While sunshine is healthy, too much sun is dangerous, especially for seniors. Don’t forget, a suntan is your skin’s way of showing damage. The deeper the tan the more sun damage and the more the skin is trying to protect itself.

There are plenty of misconceptions about the summer sun. So with advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Senior Helpers put together this list of sun safety myths and senior sun safety tips.

Sun Myth #1: Seniors need constant sun to supply vitamin D.

Seniors only need about 15 minutes or less of sun exposure two to three times a week on their faces and hands for their bodies to produce an adequate supply of Vitamin D. Vitamin D can also be found in foods and in multivitamins. Seniors should always wear sunscreen, a hat and light clothing that covers their skin when they are in the sun.

Sun Myth #2: Seniors only need to apply sunscreen once a day

Sunscreen needs time to work. Seniors should apply it about an hour before going out into the sun and reapply about every two hours. They should reapply more frequently if they are swimming. They should use a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause tanning and wrinkling while UVB rays cause sunburn, aging, wrinkling and skin cancer. Use sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of at least 15. Use SPF 30 or higher if you have a history of skin cancer or have fair skin. The risk for cancer increases as you get older. Seniors should especially pay attention to moles and other skin abnormalities.

Sun Myth #3: Seniors only need sunscreen at the pool or beach

Seniors should wear sunscreen everywhere if they go outside longer than 15 minutes. Seniors need to exercise but to avoid too much sun they can walk in malls, casinos, movies or museums.

Sun Myth #4: The sun isn’t a problem on cloudy days.

The sun doesn’t feel as hot when it’s cloudy but the UVA and UVB rays that tan and burn your skin are still shining down and being absorbed. Seniors’ skin is more sensitive. The sun’s rays are more intense in the summer so even on a cloudy day seniors should still wear sunscreen and sun protection.

Sun Myth #5: There’s nothing seniors can do if they get sunburn

The bad news is that’s partially true. The CDC recommends aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain, headache and fever. When seniors are exposed to too much sun they’re at severe risk for dehydration. They should drink six to eight glasses of water a day and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. They can also take a cool bath and use an aloe cream to moisturize skin.

Sun Myth #6: Sunburn is the only sun problem seniors should worry about

The sun can also hurt your eyes. The UV rays can cause cataracts, macular degeneration and skin cancer around the eyes. Seniors should always wear sunglasses. Choose brown, gray or green lenses and the darker and larger the lens the better. Seniors should choose glasses that wrap around their eyes and block a high percentage of UV rays.

***Source: CDC

People used to think that a deep, dark tan was a healthy sign. Now that science has provided a new insight into what the sun can do to skin, seniors and their families can still have fun in the sun but be safe at the same time!

About Senior Helpers:


Senior Helpers connects professional caregivers with seniors who wish to live at home as opposed to a nursing home or assisted living facility. The company has 260 franchises in 37 states and offers a wide range of personal and companion care services to assist seniors living independently with a strong focus on quality of life for clients and peace of mind for their families. Senior Helpers strives to be the leading companion and personal care provider that offers dependable, consistent and affordable home care. 

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