June is a big month for national health observances. Two issues that are near and dear: Men’s Health Month and Home Safety Month.
The Home Safety Council would like everyone to increase the safety of their homes. Increasing the security of your home (and your sense of well-being and personal safety) may include:
- Installing fire and smoke detectors
- Checking and changing the batteries
- Installing slip proof mats in the showers and tubs (or installing grab bars)
- My sister gently reminded me that I had nothing installed in the guest bathroom. Needless to say this is on my shopping list.
- “Stay within an arm’s length of children in and around water.”
- This weekend my little niece was playing with other little kids around a pool. She was running a little too close to the edge and before we could call out to her, she slipped right in with other adults nearby. Her fall into the pool made no sound. My Fiance was the first to reach her and pull her out. We were lucky we noticed because no one else did and had we turned away…I now understand how these accidents happen within seconds. She was a little frightened, drenched but safe.
The Home Safety Council has brochures available for download, as well as, other resources such as shopping lists and educational online games for kids.
The men in our lives (our fathers, brothers, significant others) sometimes need a little nudging to go to the doctor. My Fiance didn’t even have a doctor until we started dating! Men often put off going to the doctor unless they absolutely have no choice otherwise. Unfortunately this is having an effect. According to Men’s Health Facts, “Men die at higher rates than women from the top ten causes of death…”
One of the explanations for higher rates of death among men is that men only make half of their physician appointments! According to the 2008 Ambulatory Care Use and Physician Visits, 40% of office visits were male compared to 60% women!
Four Leading Causes of Death (Men)
- Heart Disease
- Injuries, and
How you can help
We can encourage, support, remind, and if all else fails…call an ambulance. As in the story of Ashley Marlowe, according to Men’s Health Network, Ashely “recognizing chest pain and difficulty breathing as a sign of heart problems, Ashley encouraged her husband to see a doctor. He continuously protested, but undeterred, Ashley called an ambulance when the symptoms grew worse. Her husband was shocked to learn that he had had an advanced heart attack. If it hadn’t been for Ashley’s timely actions, her husband’s life would have been in grave danger.”
Ashely’s story serves as a reminder how preventive, regular physician visits may prevent necessary actions such as calling an ambulance.
Men (!) make and keep those doctor appointments – not only for your health but for the loved ones in your life!
My father has Type 2 Diabetes and I would really like him to live as long as my grandfather (his father) — to the age of 99 and beyond. Every time I visit, I make it a point of asking him about his diet, his doctor appointments and checking his fridge. The last time I nearly boiled over with anger as it was filled with cans of regular soda! I cannot control what my dad puts in his fridge; however, I can ask him what’s going on and provide him with information.
Resources for Men
The Blue Print for Men’s Health from Men’s Health Network provides information specific to men’s health. For instance, did you know that men should be conducting self testicular exams? Yes, just as women are encouraged to conduct monthly self breast exams to detect for lumps, men should check for lumps in the testes.
Print out the Checklist for Men and post it on your refrigerator! Yes, the refrigerator because it will serve as a gentle reminder every time you open the doors. Diet, nutrition, exercise and physician check-ups are an integral part in living a long life.
So Ladies, the next time your man calls you a hypochondriac for making that fourth doctor appointment look at him and say, “Would you like to pay the ambulance bill?”