In summer, it’s understandable that you want to spend time outdoors under the sun. However, it’s a necessary time to remember summer safety tips, even on cloudy days. A recent study shows that Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and nearly 2000 Australians die from this preventable disease every year.
Sun protection is essential at any age, but several groups of people are more at risk of heat stroke, including seniors over the age of 65. When you age, your skin ages as well—it can become thinner, lose elasticity, and develop a sensitivity to the sun. Luckily, there are many simple ways to protect yourself from UV rays. Read on to learn these four tips to have fun in the sun without damaging your skin and health.
Are Seniors More Susceptible to Heat Stress?
The short answer is yes. Baptcare explains the three main reasons why seniors are more likely to suffer from heat:
- Seniors don’t adjust to sudden changes in temperature as well as younger people. This is because as your body ages, it’s unable to cool itself as well as someone younger.
- Seniors have a higher chance of developing a chronic medical condition that causes their bodies to respond to heat differently. Some examples include diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease.
- Seniors are more likely to take prescription medicines that affect the body’s ability to control temperature and sweat.
Summer Safety Tips for Seniors
This is arguably the most important summer safety tip for seniors. Experts recommend that seniors should drink at least 8 to 10 cups of water per day. On a hot summer day, you’ll sweat more, so your body will require even more water to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water during the summer will help keep your body temperature down and prevent dehydration. We recommend avoiding:
- Sugary drinks
- Alcoholic beverages
- Hot drinks
If you don’t sweat often, you may be inclined to forget to hydrate yourself. To prevent this, here are our top tips to help you remember to stay hydrated:
- Drink a glass of water each time you eat a meal
- Pack a reusable bottle of water when you leave the house
- Add a slice of lemon to your water
- Consume vegetables with high water content, such as zucchini, watermelon, and cucumber.
Limit Sun Exposure
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself from heat stress is to limit your time in direct sun exposure. UV rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so staying indoors or in shaded areas during these hours will help you stay cool. During especially hot days, turn on the air conditioner or fan to help regulate your temperature. We recommend you avoid:
- Indoor tanning
- Being exposed to direct sunlight
Wear Protective Clothing
If you must go out and expose yourself to direct sunlight, you can protect yourself from UV radiation by wearing certain types of clothing. We suggest you:
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover your scalp, forehead, nose, ears, and neck
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection
- Choose loose-fitting, long-sleeve shirts and pants
Last, but not least, don’t forget about applying sunscreen! Dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days. Here are some sunscreen application tips:
- You should use approximately one ounce of sunscreen with each application
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day
While we can’t control the weather, we can always take practical steps to stay cool, safe, and hydrated during the summer months. To learn more useful tips for seniors, and how home care services can help you, contact My Care Solution today!