Solar Eclipse Safety Tips for Seniors

Solar Eclipse Safety Tips for Seniors


At Sagora Senior Living we are constantly creating new experiences to engage our residents and find exciting ways to showcase our amazing communities and how we truly embrace each moment we create together! Today is no exception as we are preparing to view the total solar eclipse.


Today, April 8, 2024, our eyes will turn to the sky for an exciting celestial event: a total solar eclipse! In 2017, Americans last experienced a total solar eclipse, something not seen in our country in 38 years. Millions of Americans experienced one of the greatest displays in all of nature as it was celebrated from coast to coast. It is estimated that a staggering 88% of all Americans viewed the total solar eclipse, either in person or via some media source, with discussion regularly occurring weeks before and after the event. Now, a mere 7 years later, we will have an opportunity to witness this spectacle again, this time even better than the last, with the totality lasting longer and coming closer to more central areas. What’s even more exciting is that several of our Sagora Senior Living communities are in the path of totality and will be hosting viewing parties! While it’s exciting to view this rare occasion, it’s important to be safe while doing so.


Celestial and astronomical events like eclipses are very thrilling, but it is very important to know how to experience them safely. There is nothing inherent about an eclipse that makes the sun more dangerous to look at than any other day. It’s just that we typically have no reason to look directly at the sun for an extended period of time. The darkening of the sun sometimes leads to a false sense of security when attempting to observe it.


What makes this so dangerous is that your eyes have no pain receptors inside, so you can’t feel the damage being done while observing unprotected. It can take 24 hours to notice a problem and up to a year to determine if the damage is permanent. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you have protection while viewing the eclipse.


There are two general methods to safely observe the sun during an eclipse: protection and projection.


The most common way to protect your eyes during direct observation is using certified quality eclipse glasses. These glasses block most of the energy emanating from the sun and will allow observation through the duration of the partial eclipse without damaging your eyes. Do not use regular sunglasses or an unfiltered telescope to view the eclipse!


Another very common and easily practiced way of viewing an eclipse is using a method called projection. It allows for indirect viewing of the eclipse through the duration with no danger to your eyesight. The simplest way to project an image of the eclipse is to just poke a small hole in a piece of paper and let the light from the sun shine through onto another object during the eclipse. The crescent of the sun will be visible as a small point of light on the surface which you choose to project. It’s the same basic concept as a camera obscura, which projects an image onto a surface using a hole as the aperture. Another method of projection involves using a small telescope or a pair of binoculars.


It’s important to note that the total solar eclipse today may present unique challenges for people living with dementia. Here are some suggestions on how to best support your loved ones during this time:


  •        If the seniors in your life cannot safely watch the total solar eclipse, please consider making their space as comfortable and safe as possible.
  •        Avoid very dark spaces as people living with dementia may fear darkness or become confused if they cannot see well.
  •        Provide soft, indirect light to prevent irritating shadows.
  •        Avoid harsh overhead lighting.
  •        Stay as close to their routine as possible to reduce confusion and frustration.
  •        Try to avoid traveling during the eclipse or running errands, as traffic will be heavy that day.


To learn more about the total solar eclipse and to gain additional safety information, please visit the FAQ page at Regardless of being in the line of totality or will be viewing a partial eclipse, we urge you to be sure to view with proper safety in mind. We hope you have a fun and memorable experience during this exciting celestial event!


To learn more about the Sagora experience, tour your local community today! We are proud to play a vital role in helping seniors live longer and the best life possible. With 64 communities in 12 different states, Sagora Senior Living offers seniors the chance to live in active, social communities where they can thrive on a daily basis.


To find out more, tour your local Sagora Senior Living community!

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