Recently, a stylish, fit woman in her 60s confided to me that she had just had some precancerous moles removed from her body. For the third time. Her nonchalance about this deadly topic was disturbing, but not as disturbing as the fact that her body had been exposed to so much ultraviolet radiation that her body had started to rebel and, essentially, attack itself. The effects of UV radiation are troubling, and cumulative, which means that excessive radiation can mean bigger problems down the road.
In honor of July being National UV Safety Month, we thought it would be good to take the time to better understand the different types of UV and its effects. There are, essentially, three types of UV rays. UVC rays and most of UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, never making it to the earth’s surface. UVA rays, however, not only reach the earth, but they also penetrate the skin, causing significant damage. Premature wrinkling and age spots are only the beginning. Sunburn and skin cancers both present very real threats, but lesser known effects of UVA radiation include cataracts, macular degeneration, and a compromised immune system…
Here are some strategies for preventing excessive UV radation in your residents.
1. Discourage activity during the peak UV hours of the day, typically between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., particularly during the summer.
2. Encourage residents to use SPF on all exposed areas and consider making it available. The right SPF should offer broad spectrum protection of at least an SPF15.
3. Encourage the use of sun protective clothing, particulary when participating in any outdoor activities, such as golf or tennis. Many companies make sports attire with UV protection built in. Hats and sunglasses are also critical both for shielding skin from the heat and blocking UV radiation.
4. Check the EPA’s UV rating and post it in a prominent location in your community to increase UV awareness.
5. Consider making UV wristbands available to residents. These simple bands change color when the wearer needs to reapply sunscreen or go indoors, away from harmful UV rays.
At Silversphere we not only want to provide you with the best Life Safety System or Emergency Call System in Senior Living, but also with helpful ideas and tips so you can provide the very best care and run a more successful senior living community. By spreading UV awareness in your community and taking a few simple precautions, you can ensure that your residents stay safe and healthy, even during the dog days of summer.