At the start of every summer, as graduates don their caps and gowns and schoolchildren anxiously await their three-month respite, we set aside one Sunday to celebrate our fathers. And while Congress designated June as Men’s Health Month, the week before Father’s Day is specifically singled out as Men’s Health Awareness Week to target “preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among boys and men.”
A Family Affair
Men develop different health needs as they age, but they often forgo regular checkups and ignore aches and pains. In addition, while heart disease, hypertension, and high cholesterol get a lot of attention, health concerns specific to men – like premature ejaculation, testosterone deficiency (andropause), and prostate cancer – can often be overlooked. As a result, it is crucial to develop a healthcare plan that takes into account their unique circumstances.
“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue,” says Congressman Bill Richardson in regards to congressional recognition of Men’s Health Awareness Week. “Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.”
“Men put their health last,” says Demetrius Porche, DNS, RN, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Men’s Health. “Most men’s thinking is, if they can live up to their roles in society, then they’re healthy.”
The organizers of Men’s Health Awareness Week encourage men of all ages to be proactive about their health, including the incorporation of the following preemptive strategies:
- Get recommended screenings and preventative care.
- Maintain moderate physical activity: at least 2 ½ hours per week.
- Follow nutritional guidelines for your age and develop a healthy eating plan.
- Prioritize mental health.
- Practice healthy behaviors.
Men’s Health Awareness Week is a fantastic opportunity for senior living providers and caregivers to educate male residents and their families about all the ways to improve overall health and mental function. Senior living providers interested in participating in Men’s Health Awareness Week should check out the organization’s website for more information.
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