Colorado’s Front Range boasts 300+ days of sunshine annually, making it a haven for seniors like our residents to get out for walks or time in the garden. But all that exposure to ultraviolet rays increases the risk of skin cancer, especially as we age. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, nearly half of Americans who live to 65 will be diagnosed with at least one form of skin cancer in their lives.
In honor of May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, everyone, especially seniors should take proper precautions to protect themselves. Whether stepping out to enjoy The Avenues Crofton Park’s patios, nearby Metzger Farms open space trails, working in our community’s garden beds or simply relaxing in one of our comfortable outdoor common areas, here are some helpful sun safety tips to keep in mind.
Wear sunscreen (correctly).
Always look for sunscreen labelled “broad spectrum,” with an SPF of at least 15; for extended time outdoors, SPF 30 is recommended. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes prior to going outside and use a shot glass-sized amount. Reapply after swimming or sweating, or every two hours, whichever comes first. You can even set a timer on your phone to help you remember to reapply.
Examine your skin regularly.
Learn to perform a skin cancer check on yourself. Look over your body from head to toe every month, using a mirror if needed. Look for new moles or growths, moles that have increased in size or changed shape, spots with irregular borders, and spots that look different from others. Schedule a yearly skin check with your healthcare professional as well.
Seek shade during peak hours.
The sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you love walking, biking or gardening, get out in the early morning and evening if possible. It’s also smart to seek out shadier areas during the sun’s peak hours.
While you don’t want to be at risk for heat stroke, covering up your skin with clothing further protects it from the sun. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts made of breathable fabrics like cotton are good options, as are wide-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses to safeguard your face and eyes.
If you’re searching for a 55+ community for yourself or a loved one, contact The Avenues Crofton Park today at 720-799-0915. Our experienced leasing agents can help you to explore your options and learn more about our senior boutique living model.