For the uninitiated, sun exposure surprisingly offers a number of health benefits for aging adults. Here are some benefits of sunbathing which will convince you and your loved ones to do some outdoor activities.
Avoiding Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is important. However, many aging adults spend a huge part of the year indoors, avoiding the winter weather. Hence, they don’t get enough sunshine vitamin for their bodies. This is unfortunate, as vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3 are crucial to elder care. Proper vitamin D intake helps maintain healthy bones and prevents the onset of bone fragility and breakdown. Osteoporosis, the most common bone-related illness among aging adults, is frequently caused by low levels of vitamin D. The vitamin plays a huge role in calcium absorption.
Boosting Your Mood
Scientific studies recently have shown that sunlight exposure may be directly linked to the production of serotonin, also identified as the ‘happy chemical’. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is typically experienced by aging adults during the winter months, when sunlight is rare and many people spend more time indoors. These symptoms usually disappear as spring arrives, and there is a rise in serotonin production during the warmer months. What does all this actually mean? If you wish to improve your mood, all you have to do is simply get out in the sun! If the sunlight doesn’t lift your mood, then the blossoming flowers, singing birds, and fresh air surely will put a smile on your face.
Improve Sleep Quality
Aging adults who are insomniacs or find it difficult to stay asleep at night can certainly benefit from more sunlight. The circadian rhythm on which the human body functions on is technically our natural clock, and to ensure it is accurately set, an individual must experience sunlight in the day and darkness at night. Exposure to the sun informs the body when it’s daytime, increasing wakefulness and attentiveness. Aside from that, being more exposed to sunlight during the day results in a boost in night-time production of the sleep hormone, melatonin.
Research has proven that more sun exposure may help aging adults guard against various degenerative brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and all-cause dementia. Vitamin D deficiencies may play a critical role in the development of degenerative diseases, in addition to overall lower cognitive functions. This is why caregivers of your loved ones need to make sure that the individuals they care for are exposed to an adequate amount of sunlight every day.
Too Much of a Good Thing Is a Bad Thing
Yes, sunlight definitely provides numerous health benefits to aging adults, but it’s important to remember the perils of excessive sun exposure. They include skin cancer, heat stroke, and very bad burns. It is important to protect the skin from the sun’s direct rays, especially for individuals who are sensitive to sunlight. Wide-brim hats, sunglasses, and good sunscreen are all essential tools an individual should carry along with him or her when exposed to the sun.
Ensuring your loved ones get enough sunlight is just one small aspect of elder care. If you or a loved one require help with caring for an elderly, Rittenhouse Village At Northside can help. Reach out to us today for a consultation to help us understand your concerns better.