Like most periods of male development, old age may consist of many life changes such as retirement, kids leaving the house, and more free time. This is a great time to take care of yourself — take up a new hobby, become involved in the community, renew old relationships, and create new ones.
Things to watch out for:
- Depression, anxiety & stress
- Self-harm & suicide
- Substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, tobacco)
- High blood pressure and cardiovascular (heart) disease
- Reduction in physical strength and libido (sex drive)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low testosterone (hypogonadism)
- Osteoporosis (that’s right, it’s not just a woman’s disease!)
- Prostate problems—benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer
- Various other age-related illnesses
Talk to your doctor about possible screening tests for the following:
- Blood pressure
- Skin cancer check
- Diabetes blood sugar test
- Flu shot
- Blood test for kidney and liver function, and iron levels
- Bone density test
- Hearing/vision tests
- Heart and cancer screening
- Colorectal cancer screening (fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy)
- Pneumonia immunization (65+ once)
- Herpes zoster vaccine (60 once)
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm (age 65–75 if you have ever been a smoker)
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
- Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs)—chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, genital warts, HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B, HPV
Take control of your health. Be proactive!
If you don’t have a family doctor, then make the effort to find one. See your doctor once a year for a check-up. Be sure to speak up and tell your doctor about any concerns you have, whether they are physical, mental, or lifestyle-related. This way you can prevent many health problems, and treat illnesses at an early stage before they become more serious. If your doctor tells you that you have a condition or are at risk, don’t ignore or procrastinate — deal with it head-on. Men are natural problem-solvers… you need to apply this attitude to your health, too. If your car needs a tune-up, you’d get one, right? Treat your body the same way.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about feeling depressed, anxious, or stressed. These conditions are common in men and treatment is highly effective. Mental health is just as important as physical health, so don’t delay in seeking treatment.
Some things to consider:
- A healthy lifestyle plays an important role in maintaining health and preventing disease.
- Keep an eye on your weight, waist size and body mass index (BMI).
- Exercise or play sports at least three times per week.
- If you are dependent on cigarettes, drugs or alcohol, seek treatment to help you quit.
- Learn how to manage your stress. Make time to relax and spend time doing activities that you enjoy.
- Improve your diet by eating less salt and processed foods and more vegetables and fruits.
- Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D through diet and supplements.