July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and it’s the best time to look at what you’re doing to help your dad protect his skin. UV rays are the leading cause of skin cancer. What are the best tips for older adults to follow when it comes to spending time outside on sunny days?
Avoid the Sunniest Times of the Day
On the hottest days of summer, keep your dad inside. The hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. are often the worst times to be outside. If he wants to work in his garden or go for a walk, aim for before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Try to Cover Up
Covering as much of his skin as he can is important. Lightweight cotton or muslin long-sleeved shirts and pants are ideal for spending time outside in the sun. A wide-brimmed hat is also helpful in blocking the sun’s rays from the skin on your dad’s face and neck.
Look Into Sunscreen Clothing
If your dad has the money in his budget for new clothes, check out some of the UV-protecting clothing that’s out there. There are shorts, pants, shirts, and jackets designed with specially woven fabric that blocks out the UV rays. It’s a good way to help him protect his skin without having to remember to put on sunscreen.
Wear a Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen
Your dad needs to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. A mineral-based product is required in some states due to the damage chemical sunscreens cause to coral reefs and aquatic animals.
When he puts on the sunscreen, he needs to be generous with the amount he applies. A shot glass is a good rule of thumb. If he uses a spray-on sunscreen, he needs to make sure his skin is saturated.
Finally, make sure your dad applies the sunscreen around 15 minutes before he heads outside. It needs to have time to soak into the lower layers of the skin, which is where skin cancer often forms.
See a Dermatologist
If your dad has age spots, freckles, and moles, make sure he sees a dermatologist each year. It’s typically a half-hour visit where the dermatologist looks and maps each spot and looks for any changes from one year to the next.
Caught early, skin cancer is treatable by removing the cancerous lesion. For that reason, yearly skin examinations are a great way to identify problem lesions and moles before they spread.
Home care assistance ensures your dad is supported throughout the week, which is especially important when he lives alone. His caregivers can change his sheets and towels each week. They’ll gather the laundry, put it through the appropriate wash cycle, and move it to the dryer.
Once items are washed and dried, the caregiver can put them away. They’ll clean the home, cook meals, and make sure your dad has the items he needs for grooming and hygiene, sun protection, and meals and snacks. Learn more about these and other caregiver services by talking to a home care assistance specialist.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Care Assistance in Scottsdale, AZ, or anywhere in the East Valley, please contact the caring staff at Legacy Home Care.
Call (480) 777-0070
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