All eyes are on fathers later this month as Father’s Day arrives on Sunday, June 16. This makes it an opportune time to remind those of us who work with older adults (of course, we all have dads), about some tips to help them remain in good health.
We’ve all heard the statistic that women live longer than men – currently in the U.S., the average life expectancy for men is 75 years and for women it’s more than 80. It’s still unclear exactly why this is the case, but there are ways men can boost their odds of living healthier, longer lives. Here are some tips from the American Geriatric Society’s Health in Aging Foundation:
- Make sure men see a healthcare provider for regular check-ups, even if they’re feeling well. At least once a year is recommended.
- When men are feeling sick, make sure they see a provider. This seems like common sense, but men are less likely than women to see someone when they’re not feeling well. Or in the case of those living in a senior community, telling their care providers they don’t feel so good. Prompt medical care can make a big difference.
- Make sure they are taking medications, vitamins and supplements that a healthcare provider directs. And always be sure to check a provider, or pharmacist, before they take any new medicines.
- Be sure they get their flu shots. This includes a flu shot every year; a pneumonia vaccination once after age 65 and then a booster ever 6-7 years; a combination tetanus/diphtheria booster shot every 10 years; and the shingles vaccine, once when 60 or older.
- Ensure sunscreen is around for men to use when they go outside. Aging skin is more susceptible to sun damage, which boosts risks of skin cancer.
- To lessen the risk of falls and fractures, make sure men are getting plenty of bone-healthy calcium and vitamin D daily. Aim for 1500 mg of calcium daily but always have them check with their provider to be sure they are getting enough. Add in weight-bearing, bone-building exercises such as walking and weight lifting.
- Have them screened for prostrate cancer and colorectal cancer and do checks on: diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, bone health, abdominal aortic aneurysm; hearing and vision; depression; dental; and diseases that you can get during sex.
This is just a partial list; the full list can be found here.