Twenty percent of Americans 70 or older have been diagnosed with skin cancer. When melanoma is caught early, there’s a 99% five-year survival rate. Self-checks and regular skin exams with a dermatologist are the best ways to catch skin cancer early.
Sun safety has to be a priority as your mom gets outside in her gardens, at the pool, on outings to the beach, or when sitting on her deck or patio. What can she do to stay safe when she’s outside in the sun?
Sunscreen is a must when your mom is outside in the sun. Protect her face with sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. Clothing that protects against UV rays is also beneficial.
When she applies sunscreen, she needs to use plenty of it. A shot glass full of sunscreen is typically the proper amount if she’s in a swimsuit. She might not need that much if she’s in capris and a T-shirt, she won’t need as much.
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 35 or higher. A mineral product is best for coral reefs and aquatic life. When she’s outside, she wants to reapply it every two hours.
Cover Her Porch or Patio With a Sunshade
If you can create a protective space for your mom to sit, it’s worth it. If she has a patio, you could get a pop-up canopy to put over her patio. Invest money in a roof over her deck and create a shaded place.
Put comfortable seating in the shaded area. If she has plenty to drink and a shady place, she can spend some time outside.
When she’s outside in the sun, your mom has to stay hydrated. A small glass of water each hour is a good goal. If she’s sweating a lot, she might need more than that.
If your mom isn’t big into water, add slices of lemons, limes, or oranges for flavor. Frozen grapes and strawberries make great ice cubes and flavoring agents.
Know When to Go Inside
One of the harder aspects of sun safety is to know when to go inside. Your mom does need to know when to head inside. If she’s been working in her gardens for two hours, it’s time to take a break.
Older adults can love the feel of the heat on their aching joints, but safety has to come first. On very hot days, limiting her time outside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is important.
Arrange Home Care Aides to Help Out
If your mom cannot do simple things like properly applying sunscreen or remembering when to reapply it, she needs someone to help with that aspect of personal care. Home care assistance is a good service to ensure she’s taking care of herself.
With home care assistance, your mom has a caregiver to accompany her on trips outside. Her caregiver can make sure hard-to-reach areas are covered with clothing or sunscreen. Learn more about the benefits of home care by making a call.