Spring into Action for Senior Health
The spring introduces health challenges to everyone, but seniors are particularly susceptible to illness due to aging immune systems. CARE, Inc. wishes to remind seniors that the sun is out and flu season is almost over – but it’s not time to relax when taking care of health both inside and out.
When people think healthcare and spring, allergies are the obvious concern. Allergies can actually change with age. Things that used to bother our sinuses are a walk in the park, and new allergies introduce themselves. Allergies can restrict the quality of life, bringing about the need for additional medications. Seniors should always inform their doctors of current medications and past experiences so that all pre-existing conditions can be considered prior to treatment.
Seniors must take particularly good care of their skin. As is the case for many health concerns, seniors can be more likely to burn and acquire skin diseases because of aging immune systems, thinner skin and prolonged exposure to the sun. Simply put, seniors have been in the sun longer than younger people, and their skin has therefore been more exposed – increasing the possibility of damage and even skin cancer.
According to skincancer.org, seniors have “diminished defenses,” and this can make skin aging occur faster and increase the likelihood of skin cancer. Additionally, seniors seeking relaxation and socialization often move to areas where the sun’s rays are more intense. All the additional exposure can put anyone at more risk of developing skin cancer, especially seniors.
Heat exhaustion is not just for the active youth. In fact, it is way more serious for senior adults who do not adjust as well to the heat or who may have medical conditions that challenge the body to remain at normal temperature. Additionally, cdc.gov reports that medicines can actually affect senior adults’ ability to control their temperature.
Seniors should, of course, stay hydrated and in air-controlled settings. They should also wear light-colored and lightweight clothing in the heat and take cool showers to cool their temperature. Rest also is important as well as understanding how quickly heat exhaustion can occur – seek medical care immediately if experiencing the symptoms of heat exhaustion.
While the weather is getting better and everyone wants to get outside, seniors should take precaution when planning activities, especially outings. It’s better to be over-prepared than to spoil the day with a trip to the emergency room.
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CARE, Inc. is encouraging everyone to attend Disability Services Day at the State Capitol on May 1 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. This important event will highlight services provided to this special population and the importance of increasing funding.