Sunshine and summertime bring more opportunities for seniors to be active and enjoy the outdoors. Whether it’s exploring a new walking route, hitting the beach with family or friends, or tending to flowers and vegetables in the garden, longer days and warmer weather give us more of a chance to breathe some fresh air and feel rejuvenated. However, it’s especially crucial that seniors be aware of the risks of sun exposure and heat exhaustion and take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
Most people know that sun exposure can cause cancer, but did you know too much sun is the leading cause of wrinkles and skin lines? It’s important to avoid excessive sun exposure and always apply sunscreen that is SPF 30 or greater, even on days when it’s overcast or cloudy. And reapply sunscreen as directed on the packaging.
As we age, skin loses fat and water content and becomes thinner allowing UV (ultraviolet) light from the sun to penetrate more deeply. UV light suppresses the immune system and breaks down the elasticity of the skin causing wrinkles, sagging, and discoloration.
In addition to sun protection, you can maintain healthy skin with proper hydration and nutrition which will help prevent, slow down, and even reverse signs of aging.
As we age our thirst mechanism is not as sensitive and our bodies may not tell us it’s as thirty as it really is. So regardless of whether you feel thirsty or not, it’s important to drink plenty of water each day and consume even more before or after activities such as exercising or gardening.
Aging kidneys have a reduced ability to concentrate urine and retain water so require “feeding” them water more often.
Hydration is involved in most bodily functions and is critical for your physical well-being and fluid balance is essential to health regardless of age.
Being aware of the risks of sun and heat and taking simple precautionary steps will help you continue to do the things you love as you age successfully.
The LECOM Health Institute for Successful Aging provides a comprehensive approach to wellness, built on care, compassion, and community. Care for every stage of your life. Compassion for your needs. And a community spirit that inspires us to bring better health to all of our neighbors. Welcome to a health system focused on you.