For Older Men:

                                          Tips for Good Health in Later Life

Why men are shorter-lived than women isn't entirely clear. Research, however, does suggest that a leading reason for the "longevity gap" between men and women is that men don't take care of themselves as well as women do. Men are also more likely to engage in "risky" behaviors - like smoking and drinking heavily - than women.

By taking better care of them, experts agree, men can boost their odds of living healthier, longer lives. Here's what the experts recommend:

  • See your healthcare provider for regular checkups - even if you're feeling well.
  • Call or see your healthcare provider when you're feeling sick.
  • Take medications, vitamins and supplements only as your healthcare provider.

Checks with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re getting:

  • A flu shot
  • Pneumonia vaccination -- once after age 65
  • A combination tetanus/diphtheria booster shot -- every 10 years
  • The shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine -- once when 60 or older

Get Screening, or checking

For early signs of certain health problems can be diagnose  early. The following screening approaches are generally recommended for older men;

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening.
  • Bone health evaluation
  • Blood pressure check -- at least once a year
  • Cholesterol test for high blood cholesterol levels -- at least once every five years
  • Diabetes check -- at least once
  • Prostate cancer discussion.
  • Colo-rectal cancer screening for cancer of the intestines or rectum
  • Hearing and vision screening -- every year.
  • Depression screening -- every year.
  • Dental check-up -- as often as your dentist recommends, and at least once a year. Screening for diseases that you can get during sex.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Discussion about sexual concerns.
  • Other screening tests -- as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Use sunscreen.
  • Lower your risk of falls and fractures.
  • Don't smoke; quit if you do
  • Eat right.
  • Exercise your body Regular exercise is important for good health.
  • Drink only in moderation

Spend time with others Spending time and doing things with other people, of all ages, can help keep you mentally, physically and emotionally fit. It can also give your brain a boost and lift your mood. So volunteer, or join community or other groups and get involved in activities you enjoy.

Exercise your brain Join a book or discussion club. Sign up for a class at the local library, senior center, or community college (some offer free classes or older adults). Do word puzzles, number puzzles, jigsaw puzzles - whatever interests you. Make sure you challenge your brain by trying new things, and playing against the clock rather than just repeating the same exercises over and over again.