While advancements in healthcare education have contributed to men living happier for longer, in their old age, many senior men face numerous physical, mental, and emotional risks. The changes in social roles and loss of vitality challenge their capacity to live happily in their old age.
As a result of various complex factors, such as living alone or having few close family ties, their sense of self becomes challenged, resulting in loneliness and depression in their advancing years. This article identifies the top health risks faced by senior men, with the hope that many will view the words as a call to action.
1. The loss of Family and their Social Network
The reality that many senior men face physical, mental and emotional health risks in their advancing age is that one day, they wake up and realize that they have no one to talk to. This social isolation has the potential to significantly reduce an individual’s well-being, affecting their physical and emotional health.
Research has shown that men who are socially isolated are more susceptible to a whole host of health issues, ranging from physical diseases such as heart disease and stroke to emotional issues like loneliness or depression.
As social connectedness acts as a protective mechanism against emotional and physical health issues, men with the inability to maintain social connections in their old age are more vulnerable to physical, mental and psychological distress.
As humans are social creatures, senior men may benefit from securing home nursing services or exploring new hobbies and activities that encourage the growth of new friendships. Men who make an effort to engage in shared interests in their later years may experience reduced and de-escalated physical and mental health issues associated with social isolation.
2. Loss of Mobility
The increased sedentary lifestyle many men face as they age may reveal mobility problems in later years. As men advance in age, the loss of mobility can have a profound, consequential impact on their ability to become socially engaged and physically involved.
There are cascading negative effects associated with immobility. While the loss of mobility is a common issue surrounding both older men and women, men are less likely to seek help, resulting in senior men becoming more reclusive, which can lead to depression. Impaired mobility is an early predictor of institutionalization, physical disability, social isolation, and ultimately, death.
To address the cascading negative effects of immobilization and to improve mobility, senior men are advised to continue leading dynamic lives. Men who report high levels of physical activity (walking, engaging in social activities, housework, etc.) greatly reduce their excess risk of mobility disability.
The good news is that even if you present symptoms of impaired mobility, a variety of solutions like holistic massage therapy, physical and occupational therapy, social support, and the use of devices (walkers, wheelchairs, canes) are available to ensure you can take the necessary steps to greater mobility.
3. Loss of Independence
As people age, they suffer physical, mental and emotional setbacks that prohibit their ability to function independently. As an unfortunate consequence of aging, loss of independence for senior men can impact physical health and emotional well-being.
As family members consider their safety and security of their elderly loved ones, one often left unconsidered side effect of this can be the limiting of a senior’s freedom and dignity. The diminished independence seniors face can have long-term implications.
The loss of independence can be a pathway to triggering a number of negative emotions like fear, anger, guilt and depression.
The curtailment of daily activities can complicate chronic conditions, leading to further health complications and higher mortality.
While most senior men may have a relative degree of diminished independence, families can make sure their senior loved ones preserve as much independence as possible for as long as possible. Some ways families can provide support include the using technology, employing private care for the elderly at home, and making improvements in living arrangements.
Addressing Physical and Mental Health Risks
Undoubtedly as men age, many become susceptible to a certain degree of physical, mental and emotional risks. Furthermore, many senior men may experience several physical and mental conditions at the same time.
By employing the proper treatment and making use of prevention resources currently available, many senior men may reduce their risk and participate fully in their advanced years.
Understanding the top risks senior men stand to face helps alleviate the suffering that they may encounter later on in their life.
Ibrahim Khader founded Angels of Medical Care in 2010. The name “Angels” was chosen because of his belief that nurses are angels of healing and care with the blessings of the creator. The company has flourished and is now one of the best, most renowned home care companies in Dubai.
Ken Weiss is a health blogger who is passionate about natural and holistic cures for men’s health issues. He is the founder of menshealthcures.com