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Life expectancy for American men lags significantly behind that of women, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
The week leading up to and including Father’s Day offers an ideal opportunity to highlight an important related issue: raising awareness about preventable health problems for men.
Along with raising awareness comes the task of encouraging men of all ages to learn more about the vital role of routine medical advice and early detection in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Take time during Men’s Health Week -- June 15th - 21st -- to learn more about how you can help the fathers, husbands and friends in your life enjoy improved health and wellness.
Screenings -- tests which check for diseases before symptoms arise --are invaluable preventative healthcare measures. Regular screenings, which are typically done by your aging loved one’s primary care physician during his annual checkup, include blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and other routine checks.
However, some screenings rely on risk factors, such as age. These include abdominal aortic aneurysm, certain types of cancer, depression, diabetes, Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), HIV, and vision and hearing. Check with your aging loved one’s doctor to make sure he is up to date on all relevant screenings.
Older men are at increased risk for everything from heart attacks, to injuries from falls, to flu complications. Some simple medical interventions can help older seniors ward off these threats and stay healthy.
Ask your aging loved one’s physician about whether he should be taking a daily dose of aspirin. In low doses, aspirin therapy can help prevent heart attacks.
Men over the age of 65 have higher risks for falling and/or may suffer from increasing mobility problems. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is common among older Americans, and can lead to bone pain and muscle weakness, along with a number of other health complications. Talk with your aging loved one’s doctor about whether a vitamin D supplement is right for him. Physical therapy can also help seniors regain strength, balance, and overall mobility.
The flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines are also critical for safeguarding senior health. Make sure your aging loved one is up to date on all recommended vaccines.
In addition to clinical interventions, there are some simple ways to help seniors live better. These include regular physical activity, making healthy food choices, maintaining a healthy weight, getting sufficient sleep, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol intake. Men’s Health Month offers the chance for caregivers to encourage the adoption of healthier habits.
If you are a caregiver trying to encourage the adoption of healthier habits for your loved one and have found the process quite frustrating, enlist some help! Your aging loved one’s healthcare team (physicians, therapists, nurses, family members) can offer essential partnership in identifying areas for improvement and suggesting attainable, realistic goals.
My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.