Encouraging Men to Take Care of Their Health

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Despite the grey hair and a face that sports lines, for many men the second half of life can be the most rewarding. More confident than their younger self, they’ve gained wisdom and patience, in addition to security.

With Father’s Day just around the corner and the importance of the men in our lives at the forefront of everyone’s mind, we asked, “What about their health?”

It is often said that when it comes to taking care of their health, men are their own worst enemies. Indeed, a high percentage of men’s diseases are linked to individual lifestyle and behaviours such as alcohol consumption, smoking, and lack of exercise.

Men adopt fewer health-promoting behaviours than women and are also more reluctant and less likely to seek professional help, visit general practitioners, or talk about their physical and mental health with others. This, together with a lack of early prevention, translates into Canadian men being over 79% more likely to die of a heart attack than women and almost 57% more likely to get diabetes. Men are also 4 times more likely to die by suicide or in a car accident.

Simply put, healthier live longer, happier lives.

June is Men’s Health Month!

Every year, during the week leading up to Father’s Day, the international community marks Men’s Health Week. First signed into US law in 1994 by then-President Bill Clinton, Men’s Health Week has since been adopted by countries around the world.  The international support of Men’s Health Week was so profound, that it expanded to Men’s Health Month as of the late 1990s. In Canada, the first Canadian Men’s Health Week took place in 2014.

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease including cancer, heart disease, and depression among males, both young and old.

table men

What does it mean to be healthy?

Being healthy simply means to take care of your body and feelings. This involves eating a variety of foods, getting the appropriate amount of sleep, being active doing the things you like to do, and spending time with family and friends.

Talking about Men’s Health Maintenance

When was the last time you changed the oil in your car?  Or had the wheels balanced?  Most men would be able to answer those questions with ease.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, a Cleveland Clinic survey finds that most men — and boomer men in particular — don’t like talking about their health. The survey found that most would rather talk with their guy friends about current events, sports, their job, their kids, their car — in other words, just about anything other than the state of their health.

So why not shift the focus from your car to your body as the most important vehicle in your life!

Whether you’re an older man yourself or reading this on behalf of a loved one, speaking about health can be as challenging as it is important. From vaccinations and blood tests to appraising the family jewels, men need to be encouraged to talk about healthcare.  The types of maintenance topics to discuss with the men in your life – or yourself are:

  • How long has it been since your last check-up? Just like their car, routine maintenance appointments are necessary. Remind them that regular healthcare appointments can preserve their independence and self-sufficiency. Their care should include regular checkups, referrals to specialists as needed, and regular dental care.
  • Encourage them to be candid with healthcare providers. Research shows that many male patients underplay health problems during conversations with their doctor. They might say a symptom “isn’t too bad.” They might not mention new health concerns, or report that they’ve experienced falls.
  • Prompt them to have the recommended screenings. Much like checking your tire pressure, or the oil level before a long trip, older men, need regular tests of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar; screenings for prostate, colorectal cancer; and vision and hearing tests.
  • Discuss emotional health, as well. Many men are reticent to report they’re experiencing stress, depression, or suicidal thoughts. Help is available and it’s not a sign of weakness to access that help! It’s so important that Move for Your Mental Health is the theme of Canadian Men’s Health Month this June.

The ability to enjoy life to its fullest requires investing time and effort into health maintenance and disease prevention. This investment pays dividends almost immediately and it is never too late to begin.

What is Move for Your Mental Health?

Move for Your Mental Health is all about getting a bit more active this June.  We all know activity is good for us. The uncertainty and health safety concerns, during the lockdowns have been challenging for everyone, leading to increased stress and anxiety. Getting active is a healthy outlet that will benefit your mental health.

As a part of Men’s Health Month, why not take part in the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation Move Challenge?  A great place to start is by participating in the All Seniors Care Father’s Day Winners Cycle Le Tour de France. It will be fun!

cyclist

Father’s Day 2021 at All Seniors Care

On June 20th, All Seniors Care retirement residences across Canada will turn yellow as we celebrate Father’s Day with a triathlon of active living.

From senior homes in Edmonton, to senior residences Ottawa and Gatineau, this year, we’re sending dad on a Tour de France – virtually, of course!

In a full day event, fathers will follow Alaphilippe‘s wheel in a cycle around France.  During their ride, they will don a yellow jersey, meant to identify them as the heroes they are: hard working men who generate positive impact at every turn, and who continue to inspire while Riding into the Future.

Starting at the Grand Départ line to the Champs Elysée, dads in their autumn years will work up a sweat as they peddle for bragging rights.  They will then crank up the intensity to see who dominates their strength training class and compete for the petanque atout prize, then kick back to enjoy some post-race outdoor entertainment.

If you’re looking for a senior living residence for Dad that’s constantly hosting events like these that are great excuses to bring the whole family, find an All Seniors Care residence near you and ask us about living here.

thumbsupWriter:   Julianna McLeod

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