It’s our goal at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services to keep our clients feeling their best and living full, active lives. June is National Men’s Health Month and a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on several health issues that affect senior men in particular.
Health problems like heart disease, prostate cancer, and stroke present a significant risk to men over the age of 65. While factors like genetics and ethnicity may play a part in the likelihood of developing one of these conditions, there are still plenty of ways our clients can work to prevent them.
This month, take a moment to improve your awareness of these conditions and talk about how to prevent them with a senior in your life!
According to the CDC, men are more prone than women to cardiovascular issues, including heart disease. In fact, cardiovascular conditions affect nearly one out of every three men, and this risk increases significantly in those over the age of 60. For example, men are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack and usually do so at a much younger age than women.
Prostate cancer impacts a staggering 90% of men. It’s the second most common form of cancer in men in the U.S. and is most worrisome for those in the senior population.
The average age of diagnosis is 66 years old, but the likelihood of developing the disease increases in the senior years. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, individuals over the age of 70 are more than two times more likely to incur prostate cancer than their younger counterparts. Senior men are also more prone to developing advanced prostate cancer and suffering severe impacts from the disease.
While individuals of any age can experience a stroke, the risk increases in men over the age of 65. It’s worth noting that 75% of all strokes occur in people 65 and older. Men are more prone to suffering a stroke than women, with it being even more common among African American and Hispanic males.
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of stroke, a factor that makes men particularly vulnerable. However, many strokes are preventable and getting medical attention as quickly as possible can help avert serious disability.
Spotting the signs of stroke is easy if you know what to look for. The acronym F.A.S.T. provides an easy-to-remember guide:
FACE: Does one side of the face droop when smiling?
ARMS: Does one arm drift lower than the other when held out straight?
SPEECH: Is the individual slurring his or her speech or have trouble repeating simple phrases?
TIME: Acting quickly is essential, so call 911 immediately if you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one.
While some factors, like gender, age, ethnicity, and genetics can’t be prevented and may increase the risk of certain conditions, there are a few habits Seniors Helping Seniors® clients can practice to keep heart disease, prostate cancer, and stroke at bay.
- Stay Active
Participating in regular exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. Work with a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to find an activity you or your senior loved one enjoys – like walking, biking, or strength training – and make it a daily habit to get up and go!
- Eat Healthy
Focus on eating a low sugar, low sodium diet with lots of fruits and veggies to help regulate weight and decrease risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and stroke.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking damages arteries and adds to high blood pressure, which can significantly increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. While kicking this habit can be tough, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers and community are here to help! Try calling a friend, going for a walk, or working on a hobby whenever cravings creep up.
Understanding how different conditions affect seniors is the first step in staying active and engaged long into the senior years. We at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services know keeping up with daily exercise, cooking, and other healthy habits can be a challenge, but our caregivers are a trustworthy resource to help support you or your senior loved one. Get in touch with your local Seniors Helping Seniors® office for the help you want at a price you can afford.®