Every June, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country as a way to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men. I’m thrilled by any opportunity to offer patients more information when it comes to their health, so that they are empowered to make the best decisions possible.
Taking ownership of one’s health care, which is something strongly encouraged at Hebrew SeniorLife, relies greatly on patient education. In honor of Men’s Health Month, I’m highlighting three health issues older men frequently face – and what they can to do prevent them.
The age onset for cardiovascular disease typically occurs earlier in life for men, between age 50 and 60, than for women, who are more likely to experience cardiovascular issues such as stroke, heart attack and heart disease in their 70s and 80s. Men (and women) should make the effort to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly, as well as monitor blood pressure and cholesterol. Older men should feel comfortable strategizing with their doctors if they need to lose weight or need guidance on how to begin a safe exercise program.
Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in men other than skin cancer. Approximately 200,000 men will develop prostate cancer in the United States this year. Although there is screening available to detect this disease, it is not that sensitive in discovering the disease. It is very important for older men to have regular appointments with their health care providers to discuss their risks of developing prostate cancer (and others types) along with how and when to be screened for the disease.
Diabetes continues to be on the rise in seniors and research points to this rise being even higher in men. A chronic disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, diabetes can be managed in older adults with proper diet, medication, and monitoring of glucose levels. Older men should not brush off symptoms such as frequent thirst, frequent huger, fatigue and increased urination. These can be signs of diabetes and should be discussed with a health care provider, along with any other concerns.
With Father’s Day around the corner, a wonderful gift can be checking in with your father or grandfather to ensure they are seeing a doctor regularly in order to prevent future health problems.