One of my caregivers is currently assisting a senior couple. The woman has pulmonary issues unrelated to smoking, and is on oxygen therapy. In recent years, the man has suffered several strokes and his past health history includes numerous heart issues.
Because the two can no longer care for each other’s needs as they once could, a caregiver is in place to assist them both. As is typical in a marriage, the wife was very good about seeing her healthcare provider regularly, as did their children. The husband, however, was a state trooper for almost four decades, and he worked various shifts, days and nights. He was not as diligent about taking care of himself as his wife had been, leading her to conclude that was the reason for his repeated health setbacks.
I share this because in the midst of Men’s Health Month, HealthInAging.org has compiled a list of ten important health tips for senior men to take seriously:
- See your Primary Care Provider at least once per year, whether you feel well or not. The longer a man procrastinates, the more likely he is to develop and/or harbor health issues that could have been prevented or diagnosed early and treated.
- Take all prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbs and supplements as directed, and always bring them or a list of them when you visit your primary care provider so they can determine if there are any dangers of negative interactions or side effects that could be detrimental to one’s health.
- Get all vaccinations and immunization shots as recommended. These include flu, pneumonia, shingles and tetanus/diphtheria boosters (every 10 years).
- Long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats can help protect aging skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, which are directly related to skin cancer. Make a habit of applying sunscreen daily, as part of your regular hygiene routine. Sunscreens with a higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF) are suggested, especially in the Sunshine State!
- Vitamin D and calcium is important to good bone health. Check with your PCP to determine how much you need in your diet, and what foods and supplements will work best for your needs. Also, exercise regularly by walking, jogging, weight-training, or any “weight-bearing, bone-building” exercise your PCP deems appropriate. Not only will these things help in activities of daily living, they will also reduce the risk of falling.
- If you smoke, it’s well past time to quit. If you don’t smoke, good…don’t start. In Florida, you can find resources and support at Tobacco Free Florida, 850/245-4144; or the National Quit Line: 1-800-QUIT NOW, or go to healthfinder.gov and select “smoking”.
- No matter what your age, men and women both need a healthy, nutritious diet. Older adults don’t need as many calories, but meal/snack choices that include fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains and fiber are best.
- Keep your brain engaged by working jigsaw puzzles or puzzle books, taking a class, reading, or joining a book club. They’re not just for women anymore. Find more free games and ideas at http://games.aarp.org.
- Monitor your alcohol consumption and have a discussion with your PCP to make sure it is safe to be drinking alcoholic beverages. Men should drink moderately, and moderation means to limit consumption to no more than two alcoholic beverages/day. [One drink = 12oz beer; 5oz wine; 1.5oz hard liquor]
- Stay engaged on a social level. Spend time with other people participating in activities you enjoy. It is important for your overall health, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Furthermore, it will improve your quality of life significantly!
Please consider these recommendations and, if you’re a woman, share them with the special senior men in your life. If they need transportation assistance to/from doctor appointments, help with light housework, companionship, or a support system, we can help! Additionally, our new Safe Wheelchair Transport Service is available by appointment and sometimes, with same-day service.
Home Helpers® is honored to have received the Provider of Choice 2017 & 2018 awards from Home Care Pulse, and we proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539
Happy Father’s Day!