This one is for the dudes—the men in our lives. June is all about the men that we love and care about; it’s also Men’s Health Month. Celebrate what makes you amazingly you. Since 1994, sponsored by a congressional health education program, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the United States with health fairs, screenings, and other health education/outreach activities.
Why Men’s Health Month?
Despite amazing medical advances, men still have a 7-year average shorter lifespan than women do.
Prostate cancer has grown to an alarming rate of 1 in 9 (in 2015), with many men reluctant to visit their health care provider for regular exams. They may have related problems for many reasons, including, but not limited to fear, lack of information, and cost factors.
So, what do we do? Well, if you’re a female reading this, encourage the men in your life to schedule (and actually go!) to their check-up. If you’re a male: Pick up your phone. Dial your physician’s phone number. Schedule the check-up; physically put your appointment in whatever scheduling device you use. Actually, go to your appointment. This will be different from other age appropriate exams. If you’re between the ages of 20-39 you can schedule your exam every 3 years, 40-49 every 2 years, and over 50— head to the doctor every year.
But every guy should get his blood pressure checked yearly. Hypertension is a serious issue amongst men, as heart disease is the leading cause of death. There are no physical signs of hypertension and at the same time can cause permanent damage to body organs.
MEN’S HEALTH FOR SENIORS
It’s important as a senior man to brush up on your health facts, listen to your body and be sure to get regular checkups. Not only will you live longer, but you’ll have a better quality of life.
General Health. Even if you don’t feel sick, if it important to see your doctor regularly and schedule annual exams. Some of the screening tests recommended by Johns Hopkins for men 65+ are:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Blood pressure
- Colorectal Cancer
- Diabetes mellitus, type 2
- Lipid disorders
Illness. It seems simple but if you’re sick, see your doctor. According to the Health in Aging Foundation, 40% of men said that when sick, they delay seeking medical care for a few days; and 17% percent said they would wait “at least a week.” Don’t wait. Prompt medical care can be the difference between life and death.
Medications. It’s important to take medications as directed, and especially for seniors to keep a complete list of medications and dosages handy. Always inform any doctor you visit about your medications. The more they know about your meds, the better they can look out for potentially life-threatening drug interactions.
Vaccines and Inoculations. Keep up with recommended shots, including for flu, shingles, pneumonia and diphtheria/tetanus, is vitally important — especially for the elderly men in our lives.
Healthy Eating & Exercise. Older men have specific dietary needs. They need more calcium, vitamin D, fiber and potassium. Experts recommend limiting fat calories to 20 to 35 percent of your diet and suggest the following guidelines for daily calorie needs for men 50 and over:
- Not active: 2,000
- Moderately active: 2,200 to 2,400
- Active: 2,400 to 2,800.
Additionally, it is recommended that senior men try to incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 times a week into their daily schedule (physical limitations, permitting.)
Sunscreen. Up to 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have at least one skin cancer, and Caucasian men are particularly at risk. It’s never too late to take steps to prevent further damage from the sun. Try to avoid the sun during peak hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., wear a hat and sunglasses, and liberally apply SPF 30 or greater sunscreen to all exposed skin.
What else should you get every year? Well, a rectal exam, PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test, and hem-occult screening (screens the stool for microscopic amounts of blood that can be the first signs of polyps or colon cancer).
Prostate Cancer is drastic—it’s the second leading cause of cancer death for males only behind lung cancer. We are also seeing a rise in melanoma (skin cancer) diagnosis, killing twice as many men as women. When you visit the doctor, take a journal with you, jot down questions or symptoms you have been feeling.
This is your month, gentlemen—so stay healthy. These are just a few ways for men to stay healthy as they age, and there’s no better time to commit to better health than during Men’s Health Month! Do it for yourself—and your family.
And, if you do end up going to the doctor after reading this, feel free to reach out to us at livepure.com. We’re here for your Whole Health, always.
For more information and resources, go to http://www.menshealthresourcecenter.com/aging-seniors/