Each year in the week leading up to Father's Day, Men's Health Week shines light on many of the issues that affect the male population on a day-to-day basis. A great number of these health concerns are avoidable. In fact, there are many steps older men can take to lower their risk of developing everything from heart disease to prostate cancer, it just requires them to be proactive and place an emphasis on healthy senior living.
Cardiovascular well-being is important for both genders, as heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. - an estimated 600,000 people die from the condition each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That being said, Americans are not powerless when it comes to preventing the condition, and much of it has to do with following common aspects of a healthy lifestyle for seniors.
For starters, diet is an essential part of preventing heart disease. In addition to reducing intake of saturated fats and cholesterol, there are certain nutrients men should be getting that are particularly good for heart health. According to the Mayo Clinic, omega-3 fatty acids - commonly found in fish, leafy green vegetables and flaxseed oil - have proven to be some of the best options for improving cardiovascular health.
Perhaps the biggest health threat that is exclusive to men is prostate cancer. In fact, outside of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among American men. Unlike heart disease, there are not many lifestyle changes people can make to reduce their risk. Rather men need to focus on recognizing early symptoms, getting screened and identifying risk factors. According to the CDC, regular screenings are essential, and the prostate specific antigen blood test has proven to be an effective measure of one's risk of developing the disease.
A big part of improving men's health is raising awareness of certain maladies that are most common, and it's a good idea for retirement communities to take advantage of Men's Health Week to do just that. Hosting educational events that focus on healthy lifestyle habits - such as diet and exercise - is a good place to start, but communities should also encourage residents to get screenings. Whether it's for prostate and testicular cancer, mental health, or high blood pressure, increasing awareness is half the battle.