June is Men’s Health Month. While aging affects everyone different, some issues affect men more than women. Senior men should be aware of these 10 heatlh problems in order to prevent and manage health risks.
- Liver Disease – Cirrhosis, alcoholic liver disease, and hepatitis B are all risks for senior men.
- Cardiovascular Disease – One in three men has a form of cardiovascular disease. Many men are at risk of heart attack, stroke, and hypertension.
- Respiratory Disease – Lung cancer is a risk for men, especially those exposed to smoke, asbestos, and other hazards.
- Alzheimer’s Disease – Memory-related diseases like Alzheimer’s can impair men’s decision-making abilities and considerably increase health risks.
- Unintentional Injuries – Accidents that occur during work, physical labor, exercise, and other activities can be dangerous for senior men, especially those with health conditions that may decrease bone strength.
- Diabetes – Type 2 diabetes is a risk for senior men, which, if left unmanaged, can have serious side effects like heart problems or circulation issues that may cause a need for amputation.
- Skin Cancer – Men older than 50 are at an elevated risk of developing skin cancer and are twice as likely as older women to get this disease.
- HIV/AIDS – Sexually active senior men can contract HIV/AIDS and should practice safe sex.
- Prostate Cancer – One of the most common cancers among men is prostate cancer. When this cancer is caught early, it is quite treatable.
- Influenza/Pneumonia – Aging diminishes the immune system, making seniors more susceptible to contagious diseases like the flu or pneumonia.
It’s also important to remember that depression and anxiety can affect senior men, even though men are less likely to report symptoms than women. Loved ones should talk to aging men if they notice symptoms of these conditions, which can be harmful to a man’s health.
To maintain good health, men should get recommended screenings. Some of the annual checkups and tests typically advised for men over 65 include:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Cholesterol levels
- Blood pressure
- Fecal occult blood (stool-based) test
- Fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
- Lung cancer screening (for those who regularly smoked in the past 15 years)
- Dental exam
- Eye exam
- Hearing test
Men should also have a colonoscopy performed every ten years (or as recommended by a medical professional) and be screened for conditions they may be prone to due to genetics or lifestyle, like osteoporosis. If indicated, screening for depression or anxiety can be done as well.
- Senior men should take special care to live healthy and prevent disease, with strategies such as:
- Eating a diet rich in fiber, lean protein, vitamins, minerals and whole grains
- Participating in regular physical activity
- Socializing with others
- Getting recommended shots annually
- Exercising the brain
- Using sunscreen
- Keeping up with annual physicals and screening
- Paying attention to and reporting symptoms to a doctor
- Managing stress
- Avoiding smoking and drinking to excess
- Carefully following the directions for medications
By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, men can add life to their years – and enjoy many “golden years” with family and friends. If you or a loved one needs some extra help with personal services or other kinds of support, give us a call at Assisting Hands Home Care serving Columbus, OH.
Sources for this article include ClearCare, WebMD, Medicine Plus, Healthy in Aging, Mayo Clinic, MedicineNet, and Clinical Advisor