Yes, summer is all about bright blue skies and the wonderful warm, sunny weather. It’s the best season for active seniors in retirement homes to spend time outside. However, apart from the great weather, summer also brings something less ideal: UV exposure.
The sun’s UV rays are a major risk factor for most skin cancers. This is important to know, especially since there is an average of 80,000 people in Canada who are diagnosed with skin cancer each year.
The Dangers of Too Much Sun Exposure
There are different ways prolonged sun exposure can be harmful to your health:
- Short-term skin damage. This can be in the form of sunburn, dry skin, wrinkling, freckles, and more. Without protection, this can lead to serious health issues over time.
- Low immune system. Constant skin damage can keep your white blood cells working overtime. This leads to a lower immune system, exposing you to other health risks.
- Eye damage. Aside from your skin, your eyes are also at risk from too much sun exposure. This can burn the outer layers of your eyes and cause blurred vision. In time, it can also lead to cataracts.
- Skin cancer. This is the most serious threat of prolonged sun exposure without protection.
What Can Older Adults in Retirement Residences Do to Protect Themselves?
Residents of retirement communities near you have plenty of opportunities to go out, especially during the summer. However, according to the CDC, less than half of older adults do anything to protect themselves from the sun.
Make sure you continue enjoying the outdoors responsibly through these simple tips:
- Wear sunscreen. Even sitting by the window inside your retirement home on a sunny day can expose you to harmful UV rays. As such, you should make it a habit to wear sunscreen daily. Dermatologists recommend broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF30. For better protection, reapply every two hours.
- Know when to go out. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is said to be when UV rays are the strongest. Plan your day around that time to avoid too much sun exposure.
- Wear protective clothing. Planning to spend an extended amount of time outdoors? Protect yourself by wearing long sleeves, pants, hats, and sunglasses.
- Stay in the shade whenever you can. Protecting yourself from the sun doesn’t mean completely avoiding going out. You can still enjoy the nice sunny weather while seeking shade whenever possible. For instance, make sure to choose shaded paths when going on your morning walk around your retirement residence.
Sun Safety at Retirement Communities Near You
Summer is a great time to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities. Always being mindful of the risks of sun damage can make spending time outdoors more worthwhile.
Here at Livita Retirement Residences, we are committed to keeping our residents happy and healthy. Our expert staff empowers residents with helpful information that can protect their overall wellbeing. Learn more about our community today! Contact us or request a tour of any of our residences in Ontario.