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Pros and Cons of Tanning for Seniors

By James R. Buscemi, 9:00 am on

During the summer months, many seniors often desire a warm glowing tan. Though there are some benefits to tanning, there are also quite a few downsides for at-home North Broward caregivers to consider. Whether your elderly loved one has plans to hit the beach or go to a tanning bed, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

Con: Damaged Eyes

The UV rays of the sun or a tanning bed have been linked to eye problems, including cataracts and photoconjunctivitis. Since many seniors already have bad eyesight, it is unwise to risk worsening it further.

Pro: Improved Self-Confidence

This is often the biggest reason that seniors want to tan because many seniors think tans are aesthetically pleasing. Even if they are no longer in the prime of their health, having a warm golden tan can help them feel outdoorsy and athletic.

Con: Accelerated Aging

Most seniors already have wrinkles, but for those who are concerned about getting more wrinkles, tanning may be a bad idea. UV rays damage cellular DNA, elastin fibers, and collagen, which all are supposed to promote skin elasticity and thickness. It can also cause the blotchy skin discolorations that are often referred to as “age spots.”

Pro: Provides Nutrients

There are a few ways that tanning can actually boost health. It provides vitamin D, which is needed to properly absorb iron, calcium, and other important minerals. Since vitamin D deficiencies can lead to cancer, softened bones, and cardiovascular disease, tanning may help to prevent these problems.

Con: Increased Cancer Risk

The primary issue with tanning is that all UV rays greatly increase the risk of developing skin cancer, which can be deadly. Since half of all seniors over the age of 65 already have at least one skin cancer, further raising the chances of getting one is a bad idea. Respite caregivers in North Broward can reduce this risk by encouraging seniors to only sunbathe for 20 minutes a day.

Learn more about how you can protect your loved one this summer by calling Home Care Assistance of North Broward at 954-906-5161. Our dedicated caregivers will help your loved one this summer by offering safety monitoring, daily exercise, mobility assistance, and more. We provide flexible live-in, hourly, and respite North Broward home care that enables seniors to age in place with dignity. Schedule a free consultation when you speak with a knowledgeable Care Manager today.

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