While the sun is the best natural source of Vitamin D, too much exposure can be detrimental, especially for older adults. Here are some tips for staying healthy and safe when it’s hot outside:
1. Dress right
In the summer, it’s best to dress in apparel that’s loose, lightweight, and made of breathable fabric. Light colors are also recommended, as well as long sleeves to protect skin from the sun. Complete the look with a wide-brimmed hat to shield the scalp and face, as well as a pair of wrap-around sunglasses with 100% UV protection as the eyes can be extra sensitive for many seniors. Overheating can come easily on hot days so older adults should limit the amount of time they spend outside, especially when UV rays are the most intense, which is generally between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
2. Wear sunscreen
Before heading out, make sure to apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF, or sun protection factor, of at least 30 to all the skin that clothing won’t cover. Keep it with you so you can reapply every few hours. And don’t forget the lips. Protect those with a lip balm with broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher.
3. Check medication side effects
Increased sensitivity to the sun can be a common side effect of medication. Older adults should check with their doctors to see if the prescription or over-the-counter drugs they are taking have side effects that should be considered before spending time outdoors. Additionally, some vitamins can put individuals at risk of being more sensitive to the sun so it’s important to review those as well.
Elderwerks Educational Services : 251 E. Northwest Highway, Palatine, IL 60067: 855.462.0100 : https://www.elderwerks.org/