Owners' Blog

How Can You Help Your Parent Cope with a Sunburn

By HIlary and Greg Eldridge

Sunburns might seem like a common hazard of the spring and summer months, but the reality is that even a mild sunburn can indicate significant skin damage and put your aging loved one at increased risk for developing skin cancer. While avoiding sunburn is the preferable choice, if your senior does experience one of these painful issues, the way that you help them cope with it can make a tremendous difference in how they are able to recover and move forward.

Cool the skin. Encourage your senior to take cool showers or baths to draw heat from the burn and relieve pain and swelling
Moisturize. A sunburn is very damaging to the skin and dries it out. Moisturizing is essential to helping the skin heal as well as reducing itchiness that can lead to your parent scratching at the skin, potentially causing damage and infection. As soon as your parent gets out of the bath or shower, encourage them to carefully pat their skin until it is almost dry and then apply a high quality moisturizer over the remaining water to deeply moisturize the skin. Reapply moisturizer any time the skin feels dray, itchy, or uncomfortable
Hydrate. Your parent’s body will attempt to cool the burned area by drawing water from other areas. This can quickly lead to dehydration. Encourage your senior to drink extra water and ask their doctor about adding electrolyte beverages to stave off dehydration and help the skin to heal more quickly
Allow it to heal. If your parent’s skin blisters, this indicates a second-degree sunburn, and is much more serious. Discourage them from popping, breaking, or peeling the blisters. These blisters are there to protect their skin, provide cooling and moisture, and prevent infection. Instead, use aloe or hydrocortisone to soothe the skin and keep it as comfortable as possible, and protect it by covering it any time your parent will be out in the sun again so that the skin can heal effectively.

Starting home care for your elderly loved one can be one of the best decisions that you make for them throughout your caregiver journey. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your aging loved one on a completely customized schedule that ensures that they are getting all of the care, support, and assistance that they need when it is right both for them, and for the efforts that you can put forth for them. The highly personalized services of a home care provider mean that your aging parent can stay as safe, healthy, and comfortable as possible, while also pursuing a lifestyle that is independent, active, and engaged. When your parent is dealing with a health issue such as a sunburn, a care provider can help them to get through their recovery more effectively. This includes offering reminders to keep them compliant with guidelines and instructions from their doctor as well as providing physical support and assistance to handle tasks such as bathing that might be more difficult for them at this time. In your role as a family caregiver this can give you a tremendous sense of peace of mind. Even when you are not able to be with them, you can rest assured that they are in good hands and getting everything that they need to enjoy the quality of life that they desire and deserve.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Lawrenceville, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.