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5 Tips for Helping Older Adults Prevent Skin Cancer

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Sunshine is refreshing, and seniors need small amounts of time in the sun to lift their spirits and to help their bodies generate nutrients. While a stroll through the park on a warm, sunny day is bound to get your senior loved one in a good mood, you should also avoid exposing him or her to one of the biggest risk factors for skin cancer. You can use the following tips to help your loved one prevent skin cancer while still soaking up those glorious rays.

1. Limit Direct Sun Exposure

The sun’s rays are strongest between 10am and 2pm. Try to work your loved one’s schedule so he or she is indoors during these peak hours of sunlight. If your loved one does go outside during this time, encourage him or her to sit in the shade to limit exposure to the UV rays. 

If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance Nashville to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

2. Remember to Reapply Sunscreen

Everyone should wear sunscreen when they are outdoors, and seniors should wear one that is at least SPF 30 or higher. Over time, sunscreen can wear off, especially if your loved one gets wet or sweats in the heat. Ideally, your loved one should reapply sunscreen every two hours on days he or she is outdoors for prolonged periods.

3. Wear Protective Clothing

In addition to sunscreen, clothing can serve as a barrier between delicate skin and the sun’s harsh rays. On hot days, help your loved one dress in layers that include lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants. While your loved one might not want to wear a long-sleeve shirt all day, he or she can put it on when the sun begins to warm his or her skin. Your loved one can also shade his or her face with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to further protect against skin cancer.

Skin cancer is one of the most serious health issues among the elderly. Seniors living with serious health conditions often need extensive assistance in and outside the home. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of 24-hour care. Nashville Home Care Assistance provides caregivers who are expertly trained to assist seniors with bathing, grooming, light housekeeping, and various other daily tasks, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

4. Use Caution Around Water

Seniors who enjoy spending time outdoors should also be aware of the reflective properties of water. As the sun’s rays bounce off of water, the risk for sunburn increases. If your loved one enjoys spending time at a lake or pool, make sure he or she uses sunscreen.

5. Perform Regular Self-Checks

Early detection of a suspicious skin change gives your loved one the best prospects for a successful treatment since many forms of skin cancer grow slowly. Help your loved one check his or her skin once a month for signs of skin changes such as a new or unusual mole. Moles that are already established on the skin should also be checked for changes such as growing bigger or developing a new color. If you spot a suspicious lesion, arrange for it to be checked by your loved one’s physician to ensure it is not cancer.

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to lower your loved one’s risk of developing several health issues. Nashville in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your aging loved one, give us a call at (615) 656-4999 today.