Skin cancer is more prevalent in the elderly than in younger adults. People over the age of 65 likely develop melanoma more frequently because of the UV exposure they have received throughout life. However, the following steps, brought to you by the staff at Mississauga Home Care Assistance, can help minimize your senior loved one’s risk of acquiring the disease.
Limit Exposure to the Ultraviolet Rays
Try to limit the amount of sunlight your loved one’s skin is exposed to by encouraging him or her to dress in long sleeves and pants when weather permits, and to wear sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats when spending significant time outdoors. Shade is always preferable to direct sunlight, and staying out of the sun between the hours of 10 A.M. and 4 P.M., when its rays are the strongest, is key. Tanning beds should also be avoided because of the UV radiation.
Sunscreen should be liberally applied to any skin that will be exposed to the sun. Make sure your loved one uses a broad-spectrum formula that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 30 or higher. He or she should apply the product at least 30 minutes before going out and to reapply every 2 hours to guarantee efficacy.
Get Regular Skin Checks
Skin changes as people age, and what looks like a liver spot could actually be something more serious. Your loved one should receive annual skin checks from his or her doctor, but be sure to make an appointment for him or her right away if you notice any suspicious growths. Spots that change in color, size, or texture, have an irregular border, or itch, crust, or bleed continuously are of particular concern. Early detection is key to getting the proper treatment so your loved one can continue to live a vital and healthy life.
Taking a few preventive measures while in the sun can help your loved one live a healthy and happy life. For additional ways to promote your loved one’s wellbeing, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer part-time and live-in care in Mississauga, and our caregivers can help with a wide variety of daily tasks, including transportation, exercise, and meal prep. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (519) 590-2792 to request a free in-home consultation.