Though the elderly have often been warned about the dangers of getting too much sun, taking a balanced approach to sun exposure can actually have a positive effect on a senior’s overall health. Here are a few of the ways sunlight can boost your senior loved one’s health.
Vitamin D Production
Many seniors have degenerative bone diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and low levels of vitamin D can exacerbate symptoms of these conditions, including pain, limited mobility, and morning stiffness. Getting vitamin D via natural sunlight instead of taking supplements may be a better option for some seniors. High doses of supplemental vitamin D can lead to dangerously elevated levels of serum calcium, which can negatively affect your loved one’s cardiovascular health.
Some family caregivers have other responsibilities that don’t allow them to have time to engage in regular outdoor activities with their aging loved ones. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Barrie, ON, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
Getting enough exposure to natural sunlight may prove beneficial if your loved one experiences depression or other mood disorders because it can increase serotonin levels in his or her brain. Serotonin and endorphins are also known as “feel-good” chemicals. When levels of these substances are low, symptoms of depression, sadness, apathy, and anxiety may increase.
The warmth of the sun can help your loved one overcome musculoskeletal pain and increase joint mobility. The extra vitamin D production provided by natural sunlight may also ease the discomfort of chronic conditions. Another way sun exposure can decrease pain is by reducing stress and boosting mood. Stress hormones can intensify the perception of pain and lead to tense muscles and inflammation.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional in-home care. Barrie families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Elderly people sometimes develop pale skin or sallowness as a result of ill health, medications, lack of exercise, poor diet, and anemia. Seniors who appear pale may be more apt to believe they’re ill. When a healthy glow is restored, they may not only look better but feel better too. While getting enough sunlight is important for maintaining optimal health, too much sun exposure raises the risk of skin cancer, especially in seniors with fair complexions and light eyes.
Reaping the benefits of the sun involves taking some preventive measures to avoid overexposure. If your loved one needs help with remembering to wear sun protection, running errands, or managing daily tasks, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at 647-970-3803.