Not only do statistics show that women are more likely to need in home care as they age, but they will need it longer than men. In addition, it is more often women who step into the role of family caregiver: “Caregiving in the U.S.,” a 2015 report by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, noted that the majority of 43.5 million adults providing unpaid for a loved one are female at 60%. The survey also found that 65% of care recipients were women.
In an effort to live independently as long as possible and be in good health to help others if needed, your health matters.
National Women’s Health Week occurs in May every year—yes, right around Mother’s Day—and can be an opportunity to jump start conversations about health concerns or get started on improving health.
What Will You Do?
The United States Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health provides and easy checklist of ways to maintain or improve physical and mental health:
- Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
- Get active.
- Eat healthy.
- Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
- Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seat belt or bicycle helmet.
There is also a fun tool on the website www.womenshealth.gov to find out what matters most for a woman your age.
What’s Your Risk?
Both men and women have different health risks, just as people as different ages might be predisposed for certain conditions and illnesses.
There are many diseases which women have a higher risk to than men. According to a report from the Alzheimer’s Association, women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the rest of their lives as they are breast cancer. The report also states that “a woman's estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer's at age 65 is 1 in 6, compared with nearly 1 in 11 for a man.”
Heart disease is the number one killer of women is heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. It strikes more women than men and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
Rates for some cancers—such as breast cancers—in women have been decreasing, but remain a concern for women.
Anytime is a good time to learn how to stay healthy and help keep your loved ones—mothers, sisters, daughters, friends—feeling their best too. During Women’s Health Week, tap into the tools to get a jump start on better health.