The weather is finally warming up.
It’s time for your older family member to spend more time outside in the fresh air and sunshine. While exposure to the sun’s rays is a good thing in moderation since it delivers vitamin D to the body, it also puts people at risk for skin cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in America. It is also preventable. Below are 5 tips to help prevent skin cancer in your aging relative.
#1: Use Sunscreen
This is an obvious tip, but many people neglect to put sunscreen on before going outside. It’s important to put sunscreen on every time the senior is going to spend time outside. This is true even on cloudy days because the sun’s rays can still reach their skin. Experts recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. It should offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens that protect from both kinds of rays will say broad spectrum on the label. Also, reapply sunscreen according to the directions on the label.
Elder care providers can assist with putting sunscreen on areas of the body the senior has difficulty reaching, such as their lower legs and back. They can also remind the senior when it is time to reapply sunscreen.
#2: Look for Shady Places to Sit
When your aging relative goes to outdoor events, like a family picnic, help them to find a place in the shade to sit. This is especially important if they will be outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. If the event is happening in an area that offers little shade, consider bringing along a beach umbrella that can be stuck into the ground near the senior’s chair.
An elder care provider can help your loved one to get set up in a shady area when they sit outside, setting up a beach umbrella if necessary.
#3: Wear Protective Clothing
Wearing light-weight clothing that covers the arms and legs will also protect skin from the sun. A wide-brimmed hat will keep the sun off the senior’s face and neck. They should also wear sunglasses that protect eyes from UVA and UVB rays.
Elder care can assist the senior to choose clothing that will keep the sun off their skin but still be comfortable in warmer weather.
#4: Watch for Abnormal Moles
Help your aging relative to check their skin regularly for moles that look unusual and for changes in existing moles. Report any concerns to the senior’s doctor.
Elder care providers can assist with checking skin on the back and other parts of the body the older adult cannot see.
#5: Get a Professional Skin Exam Yearly
A doctor should check the older adult’s skin once per year for anything that looks unusual.
Elder care can offer transportation to medical appointments, including those for skin checks.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Home Care Services in Trussville, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.