Exposure to the sun for a long time can help older people reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. More so, spending more time under the sun can stimulate vitamin D in the skin. However, for older people, they are quite more to acquire vitamin D deficiency because of the lifestyle changes the process of natural aging brings them.
Studies have it that deficiency in Vitamin D is remarkably linked with metabolic syndrome. The disorder is a combined metabolic and medical ailments that enhance the risk of acquiring diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Positive Impacts of Sunlight for Older Adults
For the longest time now, sunlight has had an unimpressive image because of the rising concerns about skin cancers, as well as other damages. Nevertheless, scientific studies have concluded and shown some essentialities of sunlight, especially for seniors. Here are 4 of the positive impacts of being exposed to the sun among older adults:
1. Helps in Regulating Sleep Patterns
Interrupted sleep has been a typical complaint of seniors, and the sun is always the main culprit to it. Scientifically, once the body senses the natural sunlight, it stops melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone for sleep. Because of this, the elderly individual gets to enjoy the sunshine and becomes more alert during the day.
2. Lesser Risks for Depression
Sun exposure can be associated with the amount of sunlight an older adult gets during the day. A study presents a type of depression called an affective disorder, which sometimes happens when an individual is not getting enough sunlight. As a result, his serotonin levels drop. A 30-minute exposure to sunlight every day helps alleviate and prevent the symptoms of depression among seniors.
3. Eases the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
Older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease sometimes go through some changes in their circadian rhythms, resulting in increased or worsened symptoms at specific times of the day. Luckily, sun exposure can lessen the worsening of such symptoms. It also helps the elderly receiving Alzheimer’s care feel happier and more alert, specifically in the best hours of the day.
4. Increases Vitamin D Production in the Body
Most seniors have Vitamin D deficiency, which is a vital nutrient for their health. Naturally, every human depends on sunlight so he can produce Vitamin D. Therefore, older adults who lack it are certainly at risk for health conditions like heart attack, strokes, and osteoporosis. This is what the sunlight is here for–to help a senior alleviate the cardiovascular health risk.
Sunlight Effects Your Senior Loved One Should Not Experience
It may be beneficial for seniors to receive a small amount of sunlight for 30 minutes every day as it increases the levels of Vitamin D production. Nevertheless, to be sure your loved one is safe, there should be a limit on his sun exposure. Relatively, too much of it can result in some negative impacts like the following:
1. Sunlight Exposure can Cause Skin Cancer
This type of cancer may already be common, but you can prevent your senior loved one from acquiring it or having a weak immune system. The simplest way to do so is by protecting his skin using loose clothing, applying sunblock, and wearing wide-brimmed hats. If your elderly loved one is above 65 years old, check his skin for any risk of skin cancer. Have him screened for the illness every 2 or 3 years.
2. Too Much Exposure to Sunlight can Result in Sunburn
Every human skin produces a unique protective element called melanin. Inadequate quantities, this substance can prevent sun damage, which can become permanent. However, if the senior in your family stay under the sun for a long time, his skin may not be able to produce enough melanin anymore. Consequently, he is likely to have sunburns what can later develop some risks of skin cancer
3. Staying Long Under the Sun Can Cause Eye Damage
Various studies have already proven that spending many hours in the sun minus the protection can cause damage to cells in the eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “Sun damage is among the leading causes of cataracts.” Therefore, any senior spending a lot of time outside should put on a pair of sunglasses that protect the eyes against UV rays.
4. Too Much Sunlight Exposure can Lead to Cosmetic Issues
The majority of the age-related skin conditions can be associated with the sun. This is undoubted because UV light physically changes the skin cells and prevent the capability of creating elastin and collagen. Prolonged sun exposure can increase your senior loved one’s risk of developing wrinkles, skin discoloration, and benign tumors. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that “the face is the most vulnerable to sun damage.”
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