Ah, sunny Florida! As Floridians, we’re fortunate to have nearly perfect weather year-round. But along with the promise of a never-ending summer, we must also be extra vigilant about sun protection 365 days of the year. For older adults, this is especially important, as skin becomes more susceptible to sun damage with age. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that most cases of skin cancer are found in people 65 years of age or older.
Learn more about the importance of implementing sun protection steps into one’s everyday routine from the personal care companies Florida families trust – American, Advocate, Douglas and Whitsyms In-Home Care:
Sunscreen – Sunscreen is a first line of defense that should be used daily. Even when outside, but not in the direct sun, sunscreen with an SPF of 15 should be applied liberally to all areas of exposed skin and reapplied every few hours, and/or after swimming, perspiring, or toweling off. Most sunscreen has an expiration date, and the shelf life is approximately three years.
Hat and Protective Clothing – Wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved pants and shirts can provide older adults with protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Tightly woven fabrics offer the best protection and darker colors may be more effective at blocking UV rays than lighter colored ones. Remember to protect ears and the back of the neck with sunscreen if a baseball cap is worn.
Sunglasses – To help protect eyes and the sensitive skin around them, wearing sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays is a must. Not only do they shield eyes from the sun, but also from glare, and sunglasses have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts.
Shade – If you’re by a pool, at the beach, or having lunch on the patio, sitting under an umbrella, a tree, or other structure for shade is important. Not only will this provide protection from the sun’s damaging rays, but it will also help keep you cooler. Sunscreen and/or protective clothing should still be worn in the shade, and remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
In addition to including these skin cancer prevention tips into one’s daily routine, it’s important for older adults to conduct routine skin examinations and to visit a dermatologist at least once per year for a thorough examination of the skin. Having a dermatologist perform a skin exam is especially important if you or a senior loved one has mobility and flexibility issues, so that difficult to see areas of the skin are not overlooked. A family caregiver can also be enlisted to help. By taking proactive measures, skin cancer or suspected skin cancer can be caught and treated early. To perform a skin self-exam, the American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends the following steps:
- Use a full-length mirror to examine the front, back, and each side, with arms raised.
- Examine underarms, forearms and palms.
- Look at legs, between toes, and at the soles of the feet.
- Use a handheld mirror to examine the back of the neck and scalp.
- Use a handheld mirror to look at the back and buttocks.
By following these skin care prevention tips, it’s easy for Florida seniors to continue to enjoy the sun, and all our area has to offer. For additional ways to help a senior you love remain active and engaged, reach out to us to learn more about our professional and fully credentialed caregivers. From assisting with transportation for a regular outing with friends and help with personal care needs, to providing medication management and reminders, light housekeeping, and more, our referred care providers are here to help promote independence, safety and peace of mind.
Discover more about our family of brands and why we’ve been the trusted choice for in-home senior care in Florida for over 25 years. With offices conveniently located throughout the state, learn about the services and location nearest you:
Reach out to us today to learn more about in-home senior care in Florida and to get started with a professional care provider to meet the unique needs of your senior loved one.
State of Florida License and Registration Numbers: 30211518, 30211651, 30211295, 30211390, 30210978, 30211293, 30211382, 30211504, 30211733, 30211535, 30211531, 30211710, 30211709, 30211045, 5661