Visiting Angels Southlake, TX Blog

Four UV Safety Tips to Keep Seniors Healthy in the Sun

Summer not only means warmer temperatures and higher humidity, but it also means longer days. The sun rises earlier in the mornings, allowing many seniors to head outdoors for an early morning walk before the temperatures reach peak hours of the day. A later sunset gives seniors more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors later in the evening, as the high temperatures and humidity of the day begin to wane.

While it’s wonderful to have more daylight during the summer, summer also means more opportunities to be exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Not only can exposure to UV rays cause sunburn, but it can also lead to skin cancer. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately five million Americans are treated for skin cancer each year. Seniors over the age of 65 make up the majority of those five million cases. It’s not so surprising given that most seniors do little to nothing to protect their skin from the sun. If you are a senior and aren’t in the habit of protecting yourself from the sun, here are four UV safety tips to keep you healthy in the sun this summer. Elderly woman gardening

Apply Sunscreen Daily

Other than never letting the sun’s rays touch your skin, the most effective way to protect yourself from the sun is to apply sunscreen daily. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that seniors wear sunscreen every day they will be outside, stating the sun emits harmful UV rays year-round. Get in the habit of applying sunscreen to your face, ears, and neck as you get ready for the day, so that as you run errands or go outside to get the mail, you’re already protected from the sun. Many facial creams and moisturizers are making applying sunscreen even easier by adding broad spectrum SPF to their formulas. If you plan to spend a longer time outside, remember to apply sunscreen on all exposed skin at least thirty minutes before heading outdoors and reapply every hour.

Choose the Right Sunscreen

In order to receive the most protection from a sunscreen, you need to start by choosing the right sunscreen. Start by selecting a broad spectrum sunscreen that is at least an SPF 30 or higher. There are other factors to consider too, such as where you spend most of your time outdoors or what type of activities you pursue outdoors. After narrowing down your selection to include only broad spectrum and a higher SPF, choose a sunscreen that meets your outdoor needs. If you like to swim, look for a water-resistant sunscreen. If you like to walk outdoors or spend a lot of time working up a sweat in the garden, look for a sunscreen that’s won’t melt off as you sweat.

Shade Yourself

Another way to protect your skin from the sun’s rays is to shade yourself from the sun. Sit in the shade whenever possible to limit your exposure to UV rays. Always ensure you have shade with you by wearing a wide-brimmed sun hat that covers your ears. Protect your eyes as well by wearing sunglasses. You can even find clothing made to protect your skin from UV rays. Consider purchasing a lightweight UV protective jacket or long-sleeve shirt that you can wear for another layer of defense.

Eat Skin-Loving Foods

Finally, consider what you typically eat for breakfast and add foods that offer a little extra protection from the sun. The antioxidants found in blueberries and cauliflower help fight off free radicals that can damage skin to sun exposure. Foods that contain lycopene, such as watermelon, actually absorb UVA and UVB rays. If you are prone to spending too much time in the sun, eat foods rich in omega-3s, such as nuts or fish, to help your skin recover naturally. Switch over to green tea for your afternoon pick-me-up and help your body reduce skin damage caused by UVA light. While eating skin-loving foods helps your body recover and naturally protect itself from UV rays, remember that food alone is no substitute for sunscreen.

In addition to these four UV safety safety tips, know that Visiting Angels Southlake is here to help keep seniors safe in the sun this summer season. As family visits continue to be limited due to the COVID-19 crisis, many seniors are left bored and without help at home. If you are a senior in need of help, know that our doors remain open. We offer a variety of senior home care services to help seniors stay safe and independent in their own homes. In addition to hygiene assistance and light housekeeping, we also offer companion care, which helps seniors stay engaged while warding off feelings of loneliness. Let our companion caregivers help make this a summer to remember. Please contact us today by calling 817-684-1996 so that we can learn more about your situation.

Visiting Angels of Southlake, TX


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