© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
Men's health is front and centre in the month of June. June is marked as International Men's Health Month in the global calendar and, in Australia, we celebrate Men's Health Week from 15 to 21 June 2020.
The celebrations are all about raising health awareness as study after study confirms that most men tend to neglect their health until it is all too late.
In the past decade there has been a concerted push by the Australian Government to raise awareness amongst men to be more proactive about taking care of their health.
It all started in 2010 with the release of the first National Male Health Policy . Some of its key initiatives included investment in health promotional material specifically targeting men and substantial investment in Men's Sheds across the country.
The policy has been followed by the release of the National Men's Health Strategy 2020 to 2030. One of the five priority areas of that strategy is healthy ageing for men .
After more than 34 years' experience working in aged care solutions across Australia and putting in place Life Plans™ and services for ageing male clients, I believe there are a number of measures that really can make a difference to a client's quality and enjoyment of life.
One all important measure is to support ageing male clients in managing key life transitions and stressful life events. The most stressful event is the death or the failing health of a spouse or partner. It takes both an emotional and physical toll on the surviving spouse or partner.
Numerous studies of older age groups show that after the death of a spouse or partner, the surviving spouse or partner is likely to have a heart attack or stroke in the following 30 days. Those living beyond that period often give up on life, lose purpose and neglect themselves.
In developing individual Life Plans™, I seek to ensure that the client has the right supports in place to help them through this period.
Part of that Life Plan™, will include establishing routines that are universally recognised as measures that improve one's quality and enjoyment of life as you age.
For men in particular those routines include:
- Scheduling annual checks and scans with your GP and specialists. Do this every birthday! And every autumn have your flu injection.
- Maintaining a well-balanced diet. As the Heart Foundation points out, small changes can make a big difference. Switch to reduced fat dairy products and try wholegrain bread instead of white. A Mediterranean diet is known to reduce the risks of Dementia. If you are tired of preparing food, consider having a carer come in and cook every few days.
- Exercising regularly. Take a 30-minute walk around the block each day.
- Keeping informed on preventing common health issues: know your healthy weight; know how to prevent falls; take any health symptoms seriously and see your GP; and pay attention to your dental care. Ensure your eyes and hearing are tested regularly.
- Stay involved - join the local Men's Shed, join a Probus or Rotary Group, meet others, and bring home your own daily news. There are more than 1,000 Men's Sheds across Australia.
For further tips, I highly recommend visiting The M5 Project , an initiative of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and in particular its page on Decades of Life where you can navigate to see more information on age groups relevant to you.
If you require support after a stressful life event, please feel free to contact me, Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions, for an initial discussion on how we may help you through this period.
DR Care Solutions offers expertise on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one, at the right time and in the right place.