Sunlight has a bad reputation due to increased concerns about skin cancer and other damage. However, scientific research has proven some sunlight is essential for a senior’s wellbeing. While it is important for your elderly loved one to enjoy sunlight in moderation, the Vancouver senior care experts want to share the benefits he or she can receive from getting some warm rays.
1. Regulates Sleep Patterns
Disrupted sleep is a common complaint among the elderly, and the sun plays a powerful role in the sleep cycle. When the body senses natural sunlight, it stops the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep. For this reason, seniors who enjoy sunlight in the morning report feeling more alert during the day and have less trouble falling asleep at night.
2. Decreases Risk of Depression
A sunny disposition may actually be related to how much sunlight a senior receives during the day. Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that sometimes occurs during times when people cannot get enough sunlight, resulting in a drop in serotonin levels. Getting around 30 minutes of sun each day can help prevent and alleviate symptoms of depression in seniors.
3. Alleviates Alzheimer’s Symptoms
Seniors with Alzheimer’s sometimes experience changes in their circadian rhythms, leading to increased symptoms during certain times of the day. This collection of symptoms is often referred to as sundowning because it usually occurs at night. Fortunately, sun exposure during the day seems to lessen the severity of these symptoms and help seniors receiving Vancouver Alzheimer’s care feel more alert and happier during the best parts of the day.
4. Increases Production of Vitamin D
Many seniors are deficient in vitamin D, which is an important nutrient for their health. The human body relies on sunlight for the production of vitamin D, and seniors who lack this nutrient are at risk for conditions such as osteoporosis, heart attacks, and strokes. While it is important to avoid prolonged sun exposure, your loved one should still aim to receive several minutes of sunlight each day so his or her body can produce vitamin D.
For tips on keeping your loved one safe while spending time in the sun, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of hourly and live-in care Vancouver seniors can count on. To learn about the many ways our senior care services can help your loved one stay healthy, call one of our friendly Case Managers at (778) 715-5134 today.