Summer caregiving tips include protection from sun and insects.
Some medications make one more susceptible to the sun. In general elders have skin that is more fragile than those who are younger.
Elders and those with certain medical conditions may also be more susceptible to diseases that insects can carry. So protection from insects is important to consider.
I live in South Carolina, and have fire ants in the yard. They have at times tried to invade the house. Multiple stings can be fatal to someone who is frail. So they are also a cause for concern. They may actually require professional extermination to keep under control. Your local home and garden or hardware store may have products and suggestions.
Protection from other insects are regional, and may include mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. Two of the biggest causes for alarm are West Nile Virus and encephalitis carried by mosquitoes. Your carereceiver’s doctor can give you specific advice for risks in your area and your situation.
Using bug spray or insect repellant can reduce the risk of insect bites. Did you know that some insect repellants use harsh chemicals? Experts suggest that applying repellant to clothing rather than skin reduces the irritation these chemicals can cause. Look for repellant for children or natural ingredients including herbs may be an alternative to also consider.
Repairing screens with holes in them and staying indoors when mosquitoes are active outside also reduce the risk of insect bites.
Sun protection can include…
- Wearing natural fabrics like cotton or linen because they are cooler than synthetic fibers. Light colored fabrics reflect sunlight and heat rather than absorbing it like dark fabrics. Loose fitting clothes feel cooler and are more comfortable.
- Wearing a hat that gives dual protection. It provides shade and protects against sunburn. This is especially important for those with fair skin and light colored hair, and thinning hair or baldness.
- Using sunscreen is important for everyone, especially for elders and children whose skin is more delicate and more susceptible to burns and dehydration. What kind of sunscreen should you use? Well, experts say that the skin of elders is similar to that of young children. So using products designed for children makes sense. If you need additional help in choosing the right product, ask your carereceiver’s doctor.
- Following suggestions to stay indoors during the hottest times of the day when sunlight is also most intense makes sense.
- Some medications, especially some antibiotics, are associated with increased risk of sun sensitivity including sunburn. Be sure to review the medications your carereceiver takes for this potential side effect before going out into the sun.
- Did you know that cataracts could be associated with unprotected exposure to the sun? Sunglasses can reduce or slow down the process of eye irritation and damage from the sun.
Share your favorite caregiving tips for insect and sun protection in the comments.