UV Safety for Aging Adults

UV safety

As we age, our bodies go through numerous changes, including an increased vulnerability to the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV safety is crucial for seniors, as it plays a significant role in their overall health and well-being. As the years go by, the skin’s ability to protect itself from UV damage decreases, making older adults more susceptible to various health issues. In this blog, we will explore the importance of UV safety in relation to seniors and aging, as well as practical steps they can take to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays.

UV Safety for Aging Adults

UV radiation is an invisible part of sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface and is divided into three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC. While the ozone layer absorbs most of the harmful UVC radiation, UVA and UVB rays can still reach us, affecting our skin and overall health.

As we age, our skin undergoes natural changes that make it more susceptible to UV damage. The production of collagen and elastin, responsible for skin firmness and elasticity, decreases with age. This leads to thinner and more fragile skin, making it easier for UV rays to penetrate and cause damage. Additionally, the number of melanocytes, cells that produce melanin (the pigment responsible for skin color), decreases, leaving older adults more vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancers.

UV-Related Health Risks for Seniors

Skin Cancer

The most significant risk associated with UV exposure is skin cancer, and seniors are at a higher risk due to the cumulative effect of sun exposure over their lifetimes. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is more prevalent in older adults and can be life-threatening if not detected and treated early.

Wrinkles and Age Spots

Prolonged UV exposure can accelerate the aging process, leading to premature wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. Seniors who spend significant time outdoors without sun protection are more likely to experience these visible signs of aging.

Eye Problems

UV rays can also cause eye issues, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss. As we continue to mature, the lenses in our eyes become less efficient at filtering UV radiation, making seniors more susceptible to these problems.

UV Safety Tips for Seniors

Seek Shade

Encourage seniors to seek shade during peak sun hours, typically between 10 am and 4 pm. This will reduce their overall UV exposure and provide a safe haven from the sun’s strongest rays.

Wear Protective Clothing

Seniors should wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses with UV protection. These garments can shield their skin and eyes from harmful UV rays.

Apply Sunscreen

Regularly apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to exposed skin, including the face, hands, and neck. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating.

Regular Skin Checkups

Encourage seniors to undergo regular skin checkups with their healthcare provider or dermatologist. Early detection of skin changes can significantly improve the outcome if skin cancer is detected.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is essential, especially in hot weather. Hydrated skin is more resilient to sun damage and can better repair itself.

Related Article: Dehydration in Seniors: What to Look For and How to Help

UV safety is a critical aspect of senior health and aging gracefully. As we age, our skin becomes more vulnerable to UV damage, making older adults particularly at risk for skin cancers, eye issues, and premature aging. By taking simple precautions, seniors can safeguard themselves from the harmful effects of UV radiation. 

If you or someone you know would benefit from having oversight so that they can stay healthy and independent, reach out to us to see locations near you. Our professional and compassionate caregivers are passionate about the care they provide, and we would be honored to help!

Depression Awareness Month

A Place At Home - Depression Awareness Month

Across the U.S., millions of Americans struggle with depression. Yet, this widespread mental health condition often goes unnoticed and under-detected. Since October is Depression Awareness Month, we are here to share the signs and symptoms of depression and ways to seek help. 

Signs & Symptoms

Depression is a complex, multifaceted mental health condition and is experienced uniquely from person to person. However, knowing the signs may help you identify that you or a close friend, family member, or co-worker are experiencing depression. Common symptoms of depression include: 

  • Changes in appetite
  • Not being able to get out of bed
  • Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns
  • Loss of interest in activities 
  • Refusal or unmotivated to go to school or work
  • Feeling sad, hopeless, or powerless for long periods 
  • Uncontrollable emotions
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Intentional isolation or separation from others 
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Causes of Depression

The cause of one’s depression may be difficult to pinpoint, as depression can arise from a variety of events and experiences. The common origins of depression include: 

  • Sudden life changes (job change, moving, transition to adulthood, etc.)
  • Battling illness
  • Trauma or abuse
  • Facing substance abuse
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Social isolation or separation
  • Childhood experiences
  • Financial turmoil 
  • Lack of support system
  • Lack of acceptance

Seeking Help

Unfortunately, a stigma has developed around depression. Many people think that showing emotion or a dismissive response is weak or a cry for attention — causing those experiencing depression to avoid seeking help. 

Depression is not an emotion that you can simply switch on and off. Like many physical illnesses and other mental health conditions, depression does not go away on its own. In many cases, depression worsens over time without the help of a trained clinical professional. 

Screenings are often a first step to getting help and are an essential part of your routine health care. Screenings involve a series of questions that can help indicate if one is experiencing depression and how to seek further help. Although screenings are not a professional diagnosis, screenings point out the presence or absence of depressive symptoms and provide a referral for further evaluation if needed. 

It is important to know that help and treatment are always available for those suffering from depression. If you or a loved one are experiencing depression, please reach out to your healthcare provider or a clinical professional to receive a referral, assistance, and attention. 

If you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 9-8-8. This lifeline provides free, confidential, 24/7 access to emotional support by phone or text. 

Fall Prevention

Falls are the leading cause of injury, both fatal and nonfatal, for people aged 65 and older. Falls can result in serious injuries, such as head trauma and broken bones. However, most falls are preventable. Below, we outline the steps and signs to look out for to help prevent falls in the future. 

Diet & Exercise 

As we age, our bones lose strength and become brittle, ultimately increasing the risk of breaking a bone. Therefore, it is crucial to stay active and eat healthy. A well-balanced diet and routine exercise will keep your bones, joints, and body happy! 

A Well-Balanced Diet

“Milk will make you big and strong.” We’ve all heard it since we were kids. And it still holds true as we age. Milk contains a large amount of calcium which will keep your muscles and bones strong. While milk is still a great source of calcium, green leafy vegetables, fish, orange juice, yogurt, and other dairy products are also foods packed with calcium. 

Vitamin D will also keep your bones and muscles strong by allowing the body to absorb calcium effectively. And you guessed it — you can increase your Vitamin D intake by solely getting some sun! Other good sources of Vitamin D include salmon, tuna, egg yolks, liver oil, and dairy products. 

Another layer of protection for your body is protein. Protein helps build and repair body tissue. It is essential for preserving bone and muscle mass as we age. Protein-rich foods include chicken, eggs, fish, meat, legumes, nuts, and tofu. 

Make sure to stay hydrated! Drinking plenty of fluids can prevent dehydration, which can cause dizziness, lack of coordination, and confusion — overall, a leading cause of falls. Additionally, if taking diuretics (“water pills”) or other medications, it is paramount to stay hydrated. 

Consult your doctor or dietitian to discover the proper amounts of protein, calcium, Vitamin D, additional supplements, and overall calorie, fluid, and nutrient intake for your body to maintain a healthy weight and strong bones. 

Staying Active

It’s not realistic to completely prevent a fall. However, staying active and exercising with a focus on balance and strength training can reduce your risk of falling overall. For older adults, motions, and movements like squatting, getting up from bed or a chair, and walking may become difficult. Practicing and exercising these motions can improve balance, muscle memory, and overall body mechanics. Here are some exercises to practice. We also recommend implementing yoga, stretching, weight training, aerobics, walking, or other low-intensity activities into your daily routine to train your body, concentration, muscle memory, focus, and balance.

Safe Home & Environment

The most crucial factor in helping prevent falling is to ensure your home and frequently traveled areas are free of hazards. 

  • Examine your home for possible hazards and eliminate any items in your walking paths, such as rugs, cords, pet toys, etc. 
  • Replace any loose or damaged rails to your stairs and steps. 
  • Install railings on both sides of your stairway if possible. 
  • Install strong grips or handles by your shower, bathtub, and toilet.
  • Use non-slip mats in your bathtub and shower. 
  • Wear non-slip shoes or socks when not in carpeted areas
  • Improve lighting around your home. 
  • Install nightlights or motion-activated lights for nighttime 
  • Store frequently used items in cabinets and drawers within arm’s reach.
  • Avoid and repair any cracks or shifted concrete in your outdoor spaces.

In-Home Care

The safety and reassurance of having another person in assistance is a great safety measure for fall prevention. Caregivers can assist in daily activities such as getting dressed, bathing, cooking, monitoring medication, and more. Their assistance helps reduce the risk factors associated with falling.

A Place At Home offers a variety of services that can be personalized to fit any need. Our care plans are created by a qualified professional and delivered by a compassionate team of caregivers.

When you choose A Place At Home, you work with a team of qualified, compassionate care professionals who will ensure the highest standards of care are met. Your safety is our top priority.

Learn more about the ins and outs of home care on our blog — Read More.
If you or a loved one are seeking care, click here to learn more about our services.

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

National Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month is a call to action for Americans to be aware of Alzheimer’s and its effects on the brain and cognitive function, to raise awareness of the disease, and to support and stand with those diagnosed. 

Here at A Place At Home, we share research, data, and resources to educate and spread the word about Alzheimer’s and lend our support in the fight against the disease.

Alzheimer’s has hit an all-time record of affecting over 6 million Americans. It has become the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the most common cause of dementia among adults 65 and older. By 2050, an estimated 14 million Americans will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 

Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that slowly deteriorates one’s memory, thinking, and problem-solving skills. Its attack on the brain’s cognitive function leads to the inability to carry out basic activities of daily living. These difficulties occur from damaged or destroyed nerve cells (neurons) in the brain, eventually leading to the inability to perform bodily functions such as swallowing and walking. As the disease becomes more terminal, those diagnosed become bed-bound and require around-the-clock care.

The effects of Alzheimer’s can begin to cause changes in the brain a decade before showing symptoms. Each stage of the disease is determined by the severity and pace of neuron damage.  

Early detection and a diagnosis provide an individual with more time for treatment and significant medical and emotional attention. Advancements in science and cognitive therapy have provided medicine, mindful practices, and care that lead to the slowing of neuron damage and improvements in quality of life.

If you, a family member, or a friend notices a significant lapse in memory and cognitive function or any changes in the signs below, it may be time to consult a doctor.  

Signs of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia:

  • Difficulty remembering new things
  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges with planning or problem solving
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work, or leisure
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding images and spatial relationships
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • New problems with speaking or writing
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

The A Place At Home system has been supporting families and individuals suffering because of dementia for over a decade. Our professional and compassionate caregivers are empathetic and educated in the mental and physical care needs of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your situation or are seeking senior care, reach out to us. We are here to help. 


The Alzheimer’s Association
Alzheimer’s Association Facts & Figures
The Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease – Dr. Reisberg
8 Ways to Help a Loved One With Alzheimer’s
4 Tips for Reducing Alzheimer’s Stigma
9 Signs Your Loved One Needs Memory Care
Understanding the Potential Link Between Stress and Alzheimer’s Disease
10 Tips for Navigating the Holidays and Alzheimer’s 

Reducing the Risk of Stroke

National Stroke Awareness Month

Stroke can be deadly, debilitating, and dangerous. Its attack on the body can be silent and without warning. Fortunately, there are ways to lower your risk of having a stroke.

By definition from the American Stroke Association, “Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or ruptures. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so it and brain cells die.”

Although deadly, 80% of strokes are preventable and can be prevented by implementing healthy lifestyle choices. The two leading contributors to stroke are poor diet and physical inactivity. 

Poor diet commonly results in high cholesterol and high blood pressure, in tandem causing a slow ambush on the heart. Stop the ambush in its tracks by choosing a healthier diet. 

  • Limit the consumption of foods high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. 
  • Opt for minimally processed foods that are lower in fat and made with little to no salt. 
  • Minimize your intake of added sugars and alcohol. 
  • Choose to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. 
  • Ensure that you are consuming healthy sources of lean and unprocessed protein. 

Pair a healthier diet with physical activity. Move that body! This does not always call for long, strenuous trips to the gym. Small changes can be as simple as parking farther away for a longer walk to work or school, waking up earlier for a short stroll around the block, or a quick yoga session at the desk. Implementing movement as little as 15-30 minutes a day can lead huge strides toward physical and cardiovascular health and fitness.  

Physical activity not only exercises the body, but also the mind. Taking a few minutes a day to focus on yourself can lift some stress off your shoulders and mind. Oftentimes, stress can lead to inflammation, hypertension, and other vascular conditions, ultimately leading to a higher risk of stroke. Use physical activity as a time to de-stress, breathe, and focus on your mind and body. 

Lastly, smoking and the use of tobacco causes a temporary increase in blood pressure and will cause damage to your lungs and arteries. Limiting or quitting the use of tobacco (and exposure to secondhand smoke) will aid in the reduced risk of stroke. 

Altering a few of your lifestyle choices can significantly impact your risk of stroke and your overall health. 

Consult your doctor to find the best forms of action to decrease your chance of stroke. 

In the case of a stroke, know the signs. Remember F.A.S.T. to identify if someone is experiencing a stroke.

  • Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
  • Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred?
  • Time to call 911

In-home senior care services can be a good fit for seniors trying to manage their diet and physical activity. We have compassionate caregivers who can help with lifestyle care and care coordination. Schedule a free consultation or give your nearest A Place At Home location a call today!