Along with the joys of beach season come some serious dangers, especially for seniors. Keeping your loved one safe at the seashore is a matter of following these four simple–but important–precautions.
1. Slather on the Sunscreen.
Protecting aging skin from the sun should be a major priority at the beach. Seniors’ skin is more susceptible to UV ray damage that causes skin cancer, so applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen at regular intervals is essential for protection. A floppy hat and light-colored long sleeves can also protect your loved one from the sun and help ensure cool comfort in the heat.
2. Keep Plenty of Water on Hand.
Dehydration is a serious concern for aging adults, especially since seniors often don’t experience feelings of thirst and may not think to get a drink. When you’re at the beach, keep bottles of cool water nearby and encourage your loved one to drink regularly throughout the day.
3. Keep a Close Eye on Water Play.
Swimming should never be a solo endeavor, and that goes double for seniors. Strength, balance, and flexibility diminish as we age. It can be easy to lose footing on a sandy or rocky ocean floor, and that can lead to a risky situation in the water, especially in strong currents. Keep a close eye on your aging loved one in the water.
4. Encourage Supportive Shoes.
Walking on the sand or across rocks or pebbles leaves the best of us unsteady on our feet, and even minor falls can be very serious for seniors, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which points out that for those over the age of 65, one out of every five falls results in a serious injury like a broken bone or head trauma. Make sure your loved one wears sturdy, closed shoes for the trek to the beach.
Always follow your best instincts when it comes to safety and comfort, and have a great time surfside this summer!