International Men’s Health Week promotes and supports the physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing of the men in our communities.
The theme for 2023 is ‘Healthy Habits’ – so let’s explore four habits older men can adopt to be healthier and happier.
Embrace Home Care Services for a little help at home.
Of the 216,000 people using government funded home care services across Australia, only one in three are men.
The Australian Government’s Home Care Packages help our seniors to live independently at home for as long as they’d like to. Let’s explore whether subsidised home care services could enhance your daily life, or that of your loved one.
A Home Care Package can provide services to assist with:
- Household chores – cleaning, housework, laundry, pet care and garden maintenance.
- Home modifications – shower chairs, ramps, safety rails, lifting chairs and devices.
- Meals – including meal delivery subscriptions such as Lite & Easy and Meals on Wheels.
- Personal care – bathing, dressing, grooming, managing medication and assisting with mobility.
- Nursing care – allied health visits, changing dressings, helping to manage continence.
- Transport – travel, as well as mobility aids such as walking frames and wheelchairs.
- Social connections – support to take part in community activities, companionship.
To find out whether you or your loved one is eligible for a Home Care Package, contact My Aged Care here: Apply for an aged care assessment | My Aged Care or call them on 1800 200 422 to arrange an assessment.
Here is more information about Home Care Packages, who is eligible and how you can access government funded home help: Home Care Package Guidelines – Aged Care Decisions
Aged Care Decisions helps thousands of Australian families to navigate home care and aged care. We use your location, care needs, budget and personal preferences to match you with home care providers that suit your specific needs – at zero cost to you.
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Get a customised list of aged care options
Have all your health checks.
The statistics say that Australian men are typically not so great at keeping up with essential health checks. Now is the perfect time to book the following screenings and health tests:
Heart health check – Coronary heart disease is the number one killer of Australian men and accounts for more than one in 10 of all deaths. If you’re over 45, you should be having an annual heart health check with your GP to assess your medical and family history, lifestyle, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. This is covered by Medicare and only takes about 20 minutes. The Heart Foundation has great information about how to keep your heart healthy: What is a heart health check | The Heart Foundation
Bowel cancer screening – 99% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated if caught early. The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program makes this check easy, with mail-in sample kits that you should complete every two years. Your GP can give you a kit, or you can order one here: Order a replacement bowel test kit | National Cancer Screening Register (ncsr.gov.au)
Skin cancer scan – If you’re at higher risk of skin cancer (fair skin, lots of unusual moles or a family history of melanoma) you should have a proper skin examination with your doctor every six to 12 months. Noticing new or changing spots, freckles or moles is something you can do at home. The Cancer Council has a wealth of information about what to look for, and what to do if you spot an odd spot: Skin cancer | Causes, Symptoms & Treatments | Cancer Council
Diabetes screening – you can complete this online quiz to check whether your diabetes risk is elevated, and if it is, you can see your GP for a simple glucose test. As type 2 diabetes is commonly diagnosed at a later age, symptoms are sometimes dismissed as a part of ‘getting older’ and by the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, complications may already be present. Visit Diabetes Australia | Support for people living with diabetes for more information.
Hearing and eyesight tests – We all know hearing loss and eyesight problems are common as we get older. Yearly hearing tests and eye tests can help you maximise both for as long as possible.
Seek mental health support.
Mental health is just as important as physical health as we get older. As our lives change, isolation and loneliness can have a significant negative impact on our health.
Fuel your general wellbeing by eating well, getting adequate exercise, and prioritising social connections.
If your mental health needs an extra boost, there are some wonderful support organisations you can connect with, including:
Beyond Blue – this free service hosts a supportive online peer support community, and you can chat with a counsellor online, or on the phone: Beyond Blue | 24/7 Support for Anxiety, Depression and Suicide Prevention
The Black Dog Institute – a medical research institute that offers some fantastic free digital tools, apps and fact sheets that can help you to understand and articulate your feelings: Black Dog Institute | Science. Compassion. Action.
Lifeline – this free service has been around for decades and offers a 24hr/7-day phone support line, a text line and an online chat service. They can also connect you with counsellors and support groups. Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14 – Crisis Support. Suicide Prevention.
MensLine Australia – a free telephone and online counselling service offering support for Australian men anywhere, anytime. Free help, referrals & counselling for men: MensLine Australia
Embrace Multicultural mental health – an offshoot of Mental Health Australia, the embrace project offers mental health services and resources in 30+ different languages. Welcome | Embrace Multicultural Mental Health (embracementalhealth.org.au)
Men’s Sheds – more than 1,200 of these positive communities are spread across Australia offering a place to connect, make friends and take part in fun, fulfilling projects and events. Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) – Join Our Community (mensshed.org)
The Australian Men’s Health Forum (who facilitate International Men’s Health Week in Australia) have some fantastic downloadable resources to support men’s mental health. Find them here: Australian Men’s Health Forum (amhf.org.au)
Plan for a positive future
Do you want to live your best life for as long as you can?
Aged care is evolving to meet the needs of our aging population. It is estimated that the number of Australians aged 85 and over will increase from 400,000 in 2010 to 1.8 million by 2050.
Planning for the future can be daunting, and the aged care industry is ever-changing and often confusing. Aged Care Decisions can assist you through every stage of this important journey.
Our professionally trained aged care Placement Specialists can walk you through your options – from applying for a Home Care Package, to accessing respite care or exploring a move into residential aged care.
As Australia’s leading aged care placement service, we help thousands of families to navigate their aged care journey with no stress, no running around and at ZERO cost.