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Protecting Your Senior Loved One from Skin Cancer

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

Skin cancer is a real possibility for sensitive-skinned seniors, but there are ways to protect them from the disease. Trusted providers of Nashville home care hope family members will inform their senior loved ones of the following safety precautions. These preventative tips can reduce your elderly family member’s risk of sun damage and skin cancer.

Check Medications

A lot of medications will increase the chances of sunburn as they make skin more vulnerable to UV rays. Have your family member check with a pharmacist to see if any of the medication he or she is taking makes his or her skin more sensitive to sun exposure.

Remove Toenail Polish

If your senior mother or grandmother always has painted toenails, make sure she removes the polish at least once a month so she can check their entire foot for bumps, lesions, and moles. Painted toes look pretty, but what could lie beneath them may be deadly. Melanoma of the foot often hides between the toes and under or around the toenails. This type of cancer has usually spread by the time it’s discovered.

Spot-Check Moles

Examine your senior loved one’s moles and freckles each month for any changes. Look for things like discoloration or asymmetrical moles, a sore that doesn’t heal or areas of their skin that appear to be red and bumpy. Should you notice any of these things, be sure your senior loved one makes an appointment with a dermatologist to rule out the possibility of cancer.

Drink Coffee

A daily cup of coffee could help protect your senior family member from skin cancer. For each cup of coffee a person drinks daily, he or she reduces the risk of developing skin cancer by five percent. Researchers and professors from Wayne State School of Medicine believe that the antioxidants in coffee are what help protect people against skin cancer.

Wear Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses will not only protect your senior loved one’s eyes from UV rays, doing so will also reduce his or her risk of getting cataracts. Sunglasses also protect the delicate skin around the eyes from sun exposure. Wraparound sunglasses work the best because they stop UV rays from coming in from the sides.

In addition to skin cancer, there are a number of age-related ailments senior citizens can ward off with a few safety precautions, proper diet, exercise, and help from care providers like Home Care Assistance. We provide live-in and hourly care for seniors, including Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care in Nashville. Our caregivers can prepare nutritious meals, monitor exercise, provide transportation and safety monitoring, and offer emotional support and companionship. Call a Care Manager today at 615.656.4999 to schedule an in-home consultation.