Apr 6, 2017 by Matt Clinnard
Skin cancer in seniors is a serious issue and as many as 50 per cent of deaths caused by this type of cancer is in people over the age of 65. This is why our care at home focuses on prevention and screening, and we believe it significantly improves the quality of life of seniors in our care.
Skin cancer is much more prevalent in people over the age of 65 - seniors - than in younger populations. Doctors believe this is because as we age, our skin loses the ability to protect itself against harmful UV rays. At the same time, damage caused by the sun to our skin is cumulative, which means that sunburns and other damage caused by the sun can cause skin cancer later on in life.
An issue we have encountered during two decades of providing care at home to seniors across the country is that seniors simply do not realize the damage UV rays can cause. Some believe that the danger of skin cancer is not as high as they age. This is simply false, and to make matters worse, it can be harder to detect clues of skin cancer on an older person.
As part of our care at home program, we will help your loved one carry out regular self-exams, helping them look for symptoms including moles that are raised, change in shape, have jagged edges, discolorations, or signs of bleeding. If we notice any of these changes, we will immediately take your loved one to a doctor.
We will also help your loved one work on prevention in a number of other ways. The first and most obvious is to help them apply sunscreen. The key to properly using sunscreen is to make sure all exposed areas of the skin are properly covered no matter how long your loved one will be outside.
We will also work with them to make sure they are avoiding peak hours during the day when UV ray exposure is the highest. This will mean creating a proper schedule and running errands for them during those times.
Dressing properly is crucial as well. Covering as much skin as possible when your loved one is outside can make a huge difference.
These are just some of the ways care at home can help your loved one prevent skin cancer. To find out more, please give us a call. We are also available via email.