HENDERSON, NV (KXNT) – When we think of Las Vegas summers, most of us think about taking the kids to the swimming pool, or sitting under an air conditioner to stay cool, or hitting your favorite casion to take advantage of the industrial strength air conditioners.
But it’s also important that we remember that elderly people can get over heated as well.
In the heat of summer, it’s important to find ways for elder family members to beat the heat. From ultraviolet (UV) rays to skin dehydration, there are many dangers from the sun to our bodies. Excessive heat exposure can cause dehydration, which in tun can cause dangerous conditions like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. UV rays can reach into the deeper layers of the skin, promote skin aging and wrinkles and are believed to increase the development of skin cancer. In older adults, the skin doesn’t heal as well, leaving the person more vulnerable to infections and skin cancer.
Karen Bailey, Poet’s Walk Henderson’s Director of Resident Care, is in the business of keeping people safe.
“Since the skin becomes more delicate and vulnerable as we age, that means it’s more important than ever for older adults to protect their skin from damage caused by the sun,” Bailey said. “They’re also going to get dehydrated faster, get overheated easier, and their symptoms arise quickly. This is why observation is most importnt for prevention and why we remind all of the staff at our community important tips to keep our residents safe,” Bailey said.
Some of the tips Bailey offers are from where she’s employed, at the Poet’s Walk Henderson Senior Community. They include:
-Encourage adequate food and fluid intake.
-Wear light colored clothes; dark clothes absorb more heat and tight clothes don’t let sweat evaporate.
-Sunglasses prevent harmful UV rays from scorching corneas and protect eyes. Choose sunglasses that block 90 to 100% of UV rays.
-A hat is a smart summer fashion and a great way from protection. A wide brimmed hat prevents UV rays from hitting the sensitive spots on one’s face and keeps skin looking young and wrinkle-free.
-Sunscreeen with an SPF rating of at least 15 is recommended. Don’t forget to cover areas that burn easily like nose, ears, shoulders and the back of the neck.
-Lip balm with SPF protection blocks out the sun and keeps in moisture for lips.
-Provide moisturizer for skin.