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How to Prevent Skin Cancer in Aging Adults

Many seniors today spent long hours in the sun before they understood the risks of getting too much exposure to ultraviolet light. While you can’t undo your aging loved one’s past, it is possible to take steps now to prevent skin cancer from developing. Use the following tips to help your loved one prevent skin cancer.

Use Sunscreen

As a person ages, the skin tends to become thinner and more susceptible to burning if he or she spends a lot of time in the sun. To prevent sunburn, your loved one should use sunscreen when venturing outside. Help your loved one choose a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) number. Ideally, he or she should use sunscreen that is SPF 50 or higher, and don’t forget to apply it to areas that are often overlooked, such as the scalp and the tops of the ears.

Older adults who need help staying safe while spending time in the sun should consider in-home care. There are a variety of ways your senior loved one can benefit from having a caregiver. Professional in-home caregivers from Home Care Assistance Tucson are trained to assist with meal prep, mobility and exercise, personal hygiene tasks like bathing and grooming, medication reminders, and much more.

Encourage Covering Up

In addition to sunscreen, your loved one can use clothing to block the rays of the sun. Your loved one should consider wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants made from lightweight materials so he or she does not feel too hot in the sun. You can also encourage wearing a hat to provide further protection to delicate facial skin.

Avoid Excessive Exposure to Sun

The sun’s rays are strongest during certain hours of the day, typically between the mid-morning hours and later afternoon. If your loved one needs to go outside, try to plan outings for the early morning and late evening when the sun is not at its peak.

Arrange for Shade

Many seniors enjoy their time outdoors, and your loved one should never have to miss family picnics or spending time in his or her garden. To make it safer to be outdoors, try to arrange shade for your loved one. For instance, you could plan your family picnic to take place under a portable shade cover or in a gazebo. A covered patio can also provide a place to sit and enjoy some conversation with friends without being in the direct sunlight.

Watch for Signs of a Sunburn

During your loved one’s time outdoors, check for signs that his or her skin may be receiving too much exposure to sunlight. Touch the skin to see if it feels too warm, and look for symptoms of an early burn such as redness. If you notice signs of sunburn, promptly get your loved one back indoors to prevent further skin damage.

Caring for a senior loved one with skin-related health issues can be a difficult task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Tucson, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Schedule Regular Skin Exams

Check your loved one’s skin regularly to look for early signs of skin cancer. Assess moles and other marks on the skin for changes that indicate a need for further assessment. Then, make sure your loved one sees a physician annually for a skin cancer check that can identify potential cancerous lesions early enough to prevent them from spreading.

Aging adults can reduce their risk of skin cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Tucson Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (520) 276-6555 today.