How Seniors Can Stay Safe From The Sun

Sun protection on the beach

Balance is the key to almost everything, right? Sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D for seniors, but too much sunlight can quickly become harmful. The need for sun protection is especially important for seniors who often have very fragile skin. Some seniors take medications that have increased sun sensitivity as an unavoidable side effect. Since July is UV Safety Month, our assisted living caregivers at Pitman have put together a list of sun safety tips for our senior loved ones.

Essential Sun Safety Tips for Seniors

Tip #1: Sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen. Even if mom or dad only goes outside to water their garden or go for a short walk, encourage them to wear sunscreen and reapply often! The risk of developing or dying from skin cancer rises each year. When using sunscreen or applying it to a senior loved one, make sure it is at least SPF 30 and offers broad-spectrum protection. This ensures the sunscreen will absorb 97% of the sun’s rays, including UVA and UVB. It also helps to switch between different modes of sunscreen. Try using a spray sunscreen for a base coat and then a lotion to get those hard to reach spots. 

Tip #2: Avoid the sun during peak UV hours. Mom or dad’s new best friend: the shade. The sun’s UV rays are usually strongest between 10am to 4pm. This means it’s best to limit their sun exposure during those times or make sure they stay in the shade. However, it’s important to keep in mind that trees, umbrellas and canopies do not offer complete sun protection. Wearing sunscreen is always a must, even if they are out of direct sunlight.

Tip #3: Utilize long sleeves, sunglasses and long-brimmed hats when possible. Along with sunscreen, wearing certain items of clothing will provide extra coverage from the sun. Long-brimmed hats offer good sun protection for the ears, face and neck. Sunglasses that provide 99-100% UVA and UVB protection will greatly reduce eye damage from the sun. Last but not least, long sleeves and long pants will protect the arms and legs from additional sun exposure.

Staying cool at UMC at Pitman

UMC at Pitman, our assisted living community near West Deptford, provides many opportunities for seniors to have fun in the sun, while remaining safe from its harmful UV rays. Our associates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide assistance with daily tasks, including applying and reapplying sunscreen. They could also recommend the best spots on campus to hang in the shade!

For more information on our assisted living services in Pitman, NJ, please visit our website at:


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