Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
Keeping Dad Healthy
As we celebrate Father’s Day, we are reminded how important our dads are to us. Because we cherish the roles these men have played in our lives, we want them to be involved in our lives as long as possible. We want them to be healthy, happy and wise.
A man in the United States today who reaches the age of 65 is expected to live another 20 years. With the longevity of our population, we are seeing chronic conditions last long into our lives. 35% of men over the age of 65 report experiencing multiple chronic conditions. This would include arthritis, hypertension, heart disease and cancer. 35% of men older than 65 reported having some type of activity limitation, including hearing, vision or cognitive decline. As you can imagine, this makes activities of daily living, like cooking, bathing and paying bills, more difficult to do independently.
As a population, healthcare expenses rise exponentially after the age of 65. In Michigan, nearly half of our lifetime medical expenses happen in this time. The reality is, this age group is expected to be 20% of the population by 2030.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the top 10 common causes of death in men over the age of 65 are:
• Heart Disease
• Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
• Alzheimer’s Disease
• Influenza and pneumonia
• Kidney Disease
Of these causes, 50% of all deaths are attributed to the top two – heart disease and cancer. Sound like a lot of doom and gloom? There is some good news!
Some of these conditions may be preventable by early identification and lifestyle changes. What can you do to help?
Encourage the men in your life to:
Get a physical – annual physicals can help identify risk factors, review medications, screen for depression and more
• Dental – regular dental appointments may also detect concerns other than teeth and gums
• Vision – every one to two years with glaucoma or macular degeneration risks
• Hearing – with symptoms, such as a hard time hearing high-pitched sounds like women and children voices as well as consonants
• Blood work – check on prostate health, cholesterol, diabetes and other conditions
• Blood pressure – annually or more often with existing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and kidney problems
Protect themselves – against injury and harmful exposures at home, work and play
Get immunizations – annual flu immunization and pneumococcal as needed; maintain tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years; shingles after 60 years of age
Be active – Get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week
Eat Healthy – Get plenty of fruits and vegetables, decrease saturated fats, salt and empty calories
Be smoke free – even quitting at an older age can help! There are many options to help with quitting tobacco, including medications.