The weather is warming up and it’s a great time to swing open the windows and let the sunshine in to your loved ones home where they are aging in place. The winter months can be long and tedious for someone who is living alone and only sees company every once in a while, that’s why it is so critical for them to be able to enjoy the weather when it becomes warmer and brighter.
This time of year is perfect for you to experience a wonderful afternoon with your loved one, no matter how mobile or not she/he is, you can get them out into the sun and refresh their mindset. With the bright sun as a backdrop it is important to remember that as folks age their skin becomes more and more sensitive and needs to be protected from the sun. Feeling the warm air on their face will be refreshing, but not if it leads to a sunburn or worse. So, as their caregiver, how can you protect them from the sun.
Whether it is your mother, your father, your aunt, your uncle, or any other relative or loved one, you may have flashbacks to when they helped you stay safe in the sun. Now, the tables have turned and you will need to do what you can to keep them safe as they get out of the house and enjoy some rays. Here are three things you can do that will make a serious difference in keeping them safe from the sun.
1.) Sunscreen: Everyone, at all ages, needs to wear sunscreen. You may wish to speak with a dermatologist to determine your loved ones appropriate SPF to apply, but nonetheless, she/he will need sunscreen to protect their skin from the harsh rays of the sun.
2.) A Hat: Whether it’s a wide brimmed hat or a baseball cap, there is no better way to provide shade to your face then wearing a hat that will keep the sun out of your eyes and off of your cheeks. The skin on your loved one’s face is often the most vulnerable to sun damage and therefore it should be protected at all costs.
3.) Find some shade: If you’re taking your loved one out for a walk, you may not be able to always stay in shade, but if you are sitting and chatting outside as a way to get some fresh air and catch up you will always want to do this under the shade of a nearby tree or umbrella. Prolonged exposure to the heat of the sun is one way that your loved one’s skin can get damaged and if you can avoid that exposure it will be best for them.
As a caregiver there are a lot of things to remember when spending time with your loved one who is aging in place. One of the most important things to remember is that some things that you do regularly to keep yourself safe may not be something that your loved one still remembers to do, so it is important that you help remind her/him. If your loved one enjoys spending time outside to brighten their spirits, it is your job to make sure that they are doing so in a safe manner.