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5 Ways That Older Adults Can Protect Yourself from the Sun’s Harmful Rays

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It may already feel like summer is here. The weather rapidly warms in May, leaving spring behind and channeling summer.

With the sun comes the heat — and the sun’s harmful rays. Which makes it all the more important to not neglect protecting your skin.

If you’re like more than half the people in the U.S., you don’t use sunscreen or wear clothing to protect their skin from the sun. Any time that you’re outside for more than an hour on sunny days in spring and summer, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says that every year more than 5 million people in the U.S. are treated for skin cancer. The cost is more than $8.1 billion.

U.S. Rates for Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is most prevalent in people older than 65, according to the CDC. Especially as Americans live longer, it’s essential to lower the rates of skin cancer.

In the U.S., skin cancer rates are highest in adults beginning at the age of 60. The rates only level off at the age of 85.

Prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays is the biggest risk factor for most skin cancers. Applying sun protection is the best way to avoid sunburns and lower your risk of getting skin cancer.

Five Quick Tips on Protection

The CDC offers these five quick tips on helping you stay safe in the sun during the spring and summer months:

  • Stay in shady places
  • Apply sunscreen
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat
  • Wear clothing to your ankles
  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt

The number of people who use all five of this tips is surprisingly small as only about 15% of older adults and 8% of sun-sensitive older adults regularly adopt these sun protection strategies, according to the CDC. The CDC defines a “sun-sensitive adult” as someone who gets a sunburn after being in the sun for an hour without sun protection.

More than 1 in 10 older adults get a sunburn during the year. For sun-sensitive people in this age group, it rises to 20% of people who get sunburns.

The steps to staying safe in the sun are really quite easy. From clothing, to sunscreen, to hats, to staying in the shade, and wearing a long-sleeve shirt, protect yourself before you get a sunburn.


Senior living communities like Bellaire at Stone Port are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life. 

At Bellaire at Stone Port, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!

If you believe a senior living community would benefit your loved one, get in touch with us. Schedule a visit or download a brochure today!