Community Blog

Encourage Senior Men to Examine Their Health in June

By Debbie Humphrey

June is Men’s Health Awareness Month, and Men’s Health Awareness Week begins June 10th. There is no better time to have a heart-to-heart with Dad than this month featuring Father’s Day!

The conversation doesn’t need to be heavy, unless there are serious health issues about which to discuss. Who knows? Maybe he’ll open up about how he’s really feeling, for a change!?

Men are notoriously silent and sublime when it comes to their health, and it is stubbornness that keeps them from visiting a doctor until something is clearly wrong. Sound familiar? It is important we have an open dialogue about senior men’s health with our male loved ones before something treatable becomes something that is not.

Demetrius Porche, DNS, RN, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Men’s Health said, “As long as they’re working and feeling productive, most men aren’t considering the risks to their health.”

Unfortunately, men die at higher rates than women of the top causes of death, and are more apt to die in the workplace than female employees.

The CDC offered this interesting analysis, “In 1920, women lived, on average, one year longer than men. Now, men, on average, die almost five years earlier than women.

Furthermore, they report that women are 100% more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventative services than men.” Now, there’s some perspective!

These tidbits were published by Men’s Health Network on a fact sheet, along with other interesting stats about depression and suicide among males:

  • Depression in men is undiagnosed, or under-diagnosed, which contributes to the fact that men are 4x as likely to commit suicide than women.
  • The suicide rate for seniors age 65 and up show men at an astounding 31.5%, while only 5% of women take their lives.

My experience has shown that male seniors who are retired are at a greater risk of serious health matters, both physical and mental, especially if they live alone and have no one around to notice signs and symptoms of a problem. Considering men are less likely to see their physician anyway they are typically unable – or unwilling – to drive themselves to the doctor.

It is not a surprise that the first five health risks senior men face include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Depression and suicide
  • Diabetes

There are numerous ways to prevent, treat, or manage these conditions, but it starts with the individual and his family.

I miss my Dad every Father’s Day and year-round. I wish he was still here so I could talk to him honestly about senior men’s health issues and ways to improve the odds. Sadly, I’ll never have that chance.

If you live a distance away from your Dad, give him a call on Father’s Day and chat awhile about how he’s really feeling, and do a mental assessment of what he tells you. If, during the conversation, you determine Dad could use some help, contact me.

I have an amazing team of compassionate caregivers who are happy to provide companionship, light housework, meal preparation, transportation assistance (to and from doctor appointments!), and more. I offer a Free Consultation to discuss individual needs, and we can work out a plan to help your favorite senior fella, based on my professional assessment.

We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for 2017, 2018 & 2019. 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

Source:  WebMD, Dr. Matthew Hoffman

               Men’s Health Network