June is Men’s Health Awareness Month
Throughout the month of June, many health organizations focus on raising awareness of preventable health issues and encouraging early detection of illness in men and boys. Men’s Health Month has been recognized every June since 1992. Men’s Health Month’s official website explained that, on average, men die five years earlier than women, which is due in part to men’s hesitance to go to the doctor. Women are twice as likely to go to the doctor as men are. Therefore, this month encourages men to take control of their health and wellness and seek medical advice sooner rather than later, to aid in the treatment and prevention of disease.
Senior men, especially, must pay attention to their bodies and visit the doctor when something feels wrong. It is recommended that men over 65 years old are seen by their doctors regularly and get screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm, blood pressure, colorectal and prostate cancer, hearing and vision loss, depression, Type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, bone health, lipid disorders, and STDs, even if they do not feel sick. It is incredibly important for all men, but especially senior men, to seek medical attention when they feel sick. 40% of men admitted that when they feel sick, they wait to seek medical care, oftentimes waiting a week or more after symptoms appear. It is also important to take medications, vitamins, and supplements as directed by medical professionals. Doctors can help manage side effects from medication and ensure that the various forms of medication do not clash with each other. Vaccines will assist with the prevention of infection and disease, so it is vital to get the appropriate vaccinations, including the flu shot (annually), the shingles vaccine (60+), the tetanus/diphtheria shot (every 10 years) and the pneumonia vaccination (65+ with boosters every 6-7 years).
There are many healthy habits that are beneficial to men of every age. Using sunscreen when going outside is always necessary, but it is especially important for older men, as skin becomes more susceptible to damage as people age. Quitting smoking will help reduce the risk of cancer and lung diseases, and it is never too late to quit. Drinking should be done in moderation or not at all, depending on medications and doctor’s suggestions. It is also vital to maintain a healthy diet. Older men should focus on consuming additional calcium, vitamin D, fiber and potassium while limiting the calories from fat. Exercising is also a key way to improve overall health. Exercise can help the heart’s circulation and muscles, strengthening bones, boosting brain function, lifting one’s mood, and preventing and managing depression. Men can speak with their doctors to find the best ways to exercise for their age and conditions.
Wear Blue Day is typically celebrated the Friday before Father’s Day. On this day, it is encouraged to wear something blue to show support and spread awareness for Men’s Health Month. It is important to acknowledge the health concerns that men face and bring awareness to the various issues. For additional information on senior men’s heath, click here.For additional information on Men’s Health Month, click here.