As we grow old, there are many precautions we can take to preserve our health. There are also many things we can proactively do to maintain our health. One of the ways to get vitamin D in our bodies is through sunlight. In this article we’ll discuss how sunlight can benefit seniors.
Benefits Of Sunlight For Seniors
Sunlight has been connected to a multitude of health benefits, some of which are particularly important for seniors. Most of these benefits are linked to vitamin D. Human beings are only able to produce Vitamin D naturally through exposure to the sun.Vitamin D helps generate the production of other vitamins that our body needs. Some of the many benefits of sunlight for seniors are:
- Improved sleep patterns
- Improved mood
- Cardiovascular health
- Stronger bones
- Improved mental capacity
- Reduced risk of influenza
- Reduced risk of diabetes
The medical recommendation is that seniors receive 5-10 minutes of sunlight 2-3 times a week. This is the amount that is needed to produce healthy levels of vitamin D. It’s also low enough that the increased risk of skin cancer is typically minimal.
Ideas To Get Recommended Sunlight Exposure
In order for seniors to get the Vitamin D they need, they have to go outside! Being outside can involve a number of activities. Here are some suggestions for what to do outside.
- Take a walk
- Talk on the phone
- Listen to music
- Write a letter
- Visit with a friend
Precautions For Getting Too Much Sunlight
While being in the sun can be beneficial for seniors in many ways, we cannot forget the dangers that too much sun poses. These include heat stroke, skin cancer, and burns. It is important to take the necessary measures to protect ourselves from the sun’s direct rays. Some precautions to take are using good sunscreen, wearing wide-brim hats, and wearing sunglasses. These are all essential for the elderly to get the benefits of sunlight while minimizing the risk of sun damage.
Getting adequate sunlight is just one aspect of caring for seniors. Orchard at Brookhaven is a senior living community in Atlanta with many outdoor areas to help our residents get the sunlight they need. Please contact us if you have questions or would like to schedule a tour of our community.