By: Anastasia Iliou

As you age, it becomes more and more important to pay attention to health concerns like sunburn and heat exhaustion. Your skin can’t handle the sun’s rays the way it used to! Before you head out to enjoy the weather, read these summer health tips and take every precaution you can.

Senior Sun Protection

Did you know that the FDA won’t even approve a sunblock product unless it has a minimum of SPF 30? Whenever you plan on being outside for any significant length of time, be sure to apply an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen first. Even the lightest of sunburns can cause lasting skin damage. It only costs $8-$12 for a bottle that lasts all summer; there’s no reason you shouldn’t use sunscreen!

Consumer Reports listed these seven brands as the best for your protection:

  • Banana Boat Ultra Defense Max Skin Protect SPF 110 spray
  • BullFrog Water Armor Sport InstaCool SPF 50+ spray
  • Neutrogena Ultimate Sport SPF 70+ lotion
  • Up & Up Sport SPF 50 spray
  • Well at Walgreens Sport SPF 50 spray
  • Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 lotion
  • Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50 lotion

It’s not just sunscreen that protects your skin. The things you eat matter, too. Nuts, seeds, bright fruits, and colorful vegetables can make your skin stronger and more heat-resistant. Astaxanthin is also great for your skin. You can find it in salmon and avocados.

Best Insect Repellent

Aside from the annoying rash and itchiness that mosquitos and other insects can cause, they also carry harmful diseases like West Nile virus (mosquitos) and Lyme disease (ticks)! Plus, if you’re allergic to a bug, its sting can cause breathing issues, nausea, dizziness, and heavy swelling. Invest in a bug spray for either your skin or your lawn when you’re spending time outside or place insect-repellent candles around your patio.

Alternatively, if you plan on being outside and expect to find bugs, wear lighter colors. Most insects are more attracted to bright colors that resemble flowers and plants. You can also plant lavender, basil, lemongrass, or mint in your garden. Most insects do not like them and will stay away!

Stay Hydrated

When you’re having fun in the sun, it can be easy to forget to drink water and to not even notice how dehydrated you’re getting. Be sure to bring a bottle of water with you whenever you can and drink water even if you don’t feel like you need it. If you have a hard time drinking enough water, eat foods with high water concentrations. Watermelon and cucumbers are just two examples of delicious and hydrating snacks!

Summer Medicare Coverage

If you’re going on vacation this summer, make sure to have a plan for what you can do if you get injured or sick while away. A good way to start is by visiting your primary physician before you leave for your vacation and making sure that you and your family are current on all of your vaccinations.

Speak to your Medicare agent to find out whether or not you’ll have coverage if you have to visit a doctor in another state or country. In most cases, Medicare will not cover your international healthcare. You’ll want to speak to your agent about purchasing medical travel insurance. Even if you’re staying in the country, you may have to check with your agent to make sure you can find coverage in another city or state.

If you don’t have a Medicare agent and would like to meet with one (free of charge), contact our partners at Medicare Plan Finder! They can send an agent to meet with you and help you figure out what your options are. Then, they can help you narrow it down and pick the best plan for you.

Just fill out this form to have someone from Medicare Plan Finder get in touch with you, or call them directly at 833-GET-ENROLLED (833-438-3676).