From osteoporosis to menopause, women develop different health concerns as they age. Gender-specific challenges like hormonal changes, as well as shifts in lifestyle, mean that women need to develop a healthcare plan that takes into account their unique circumstances.
As journalist Nancy Brown points out in a blog post about women’s healthcare, “Far too many women focus on the health and happiness of others without taking the time to care for themselves. While there’s a sweet, loving motive behind this kind of priority structure, it also comes with a fundamental flaw: If these women get sick, those who depend on them will be left in need.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health promotes National Women’s Health Week each May starting on Mother’s Day. The purpose the program is to inspire women to take better care of their wellbeing while also taking specific steps to improve their health.
The organizers of National Women’s Health Week encourage women of all ages to be proactive about their health by following these key strategies:
- Keep up with 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.
As women age, many health problems can occur, including preventable conditions that can be controlled via diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes. As a result, it is vital for older women to have access to the information and tools necessary to manage their health effectively.
“Women continue to be the support beams of our families and our communities,” says Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “We often make the healthcare decisions for our families, but we seldom make time for ourselves.”
That’s a mistake for our own health and the health of our nation. We can’t support others if we aren’t taking care of ourselves.
Women’s Health Week is a fantastic opportunity for senior living providers and caregivers to educate female residents and their families about all the ways to improve overall health and mental function. Senior living providers interested in participating in Women’s Health Week should check out the organization’s website for more information.
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