With summer inching closer and closer, we’re sure you’re spending more time outside in the sun. It’s great to soak up that Vitamin D, but it’s important that you’re doing it safely and protecting your skin. Here, we will discuss simple ways that older adults can stay safe from the disadvantages of too much sunlight.
The Importance of Sunshine
Exposure to sunlight is the only way our bodies can naturally make Vitamin D, which is necessary for strong bones, better mood, improved cognition, and cardiovascular health. Sunlight is also known to improve our sleep patterns, as the sun heavily influences the body’s circadian rhythm. Lack of sun exposure can be responsible for insomnia or irregular sleeping patterns.
The Risks of Too Much Sun Exposure
The biggest danger of sun exposure is skin cancer, which is the most common cancer in America. Skin cancer is linked to overexposure to radiation from UV or ultraviolet light. UV light exposure can also cause sunburn, wrinkles, discoloration, and loss of elasticity. Some people believe skin cancer takes a long time to form and that it isn’t a significant cause for concern in your senior years – however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Seniors are at just as much risk, if not at a higher risk, for skin cancer than the younger generations.
A Healthy Balance
There can be a lot of misleading information regarding sun exposure and seniors. While it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation, there is a general rule of thumb to live by: seniors need 5-10 minutes of sun exposure 2-3 times a week to produce healthy levels of vitamin D. With that in mind, it’s recommended to apply sunscreen if you’re spending more than ten minutes in direct sunlight or when the UV rate is extremely high. You can check this on most weather apps, channels, and stations. Additional sun protection can include lightweight, breezy tops, pants, large sun hats, or even umbrellas to provide some shade. Overall, we recommend doing what feels comfortable for you. If you feel yourself getting too hot and it hasn’t been ten minutes yet, listen to your body.
Safe in the Sun at UMC at The Shores
It can be confusing which advice to follow, that’s why all of our senior caregivers in South Jersey are trained in the best practices to provide all-encompassing care for our residents. With our beautiful location just a short drive to the beach, we know our independent seniors enjoy their time outside, and it’s our priority to make sure they enjoy it safely.
Visit our website to learn more about our South Jersey senior living campus, lifestyles, activities, and location: https://umcommunities.org/theshores/
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/theshores/blog/the-sun-is-shining-protect-your-skin/