Caring for Your Health as an Older Woman: the Essential Actions

As we get older, we have to pay attention to our health in different ways. Women’s bodies change and are more at risk for various diseases and health problems. We are now living longer than ever before, but it means having to watch out for a number of issues. Women can have trouble advocating for themselves when it comes to medical matters. Although men are generally seen as being reluctant to go to the doctor, women can also feel shy about going.

Some women might downplay a medical complaint. Or they may feel uncomfortable sharing it with their doctor. But caring for your health as you get older is very important. Make sure you look after yourself by doing the things below.

Be Aware of How Your Body Is Changing

Many women think they know what to expect when they reach the age of perimenopause and menopause. They’ve read about hot flashes and mood swings. And they have an understanding of what happens to their body. But they often feel unprepared when it happens and can be unaware of many of the symptoms. It’s always a good idea to get a better understanding of what your body can do and why. Knowing how your own body works is one of the essential steps to feeling empowered as a woman. If you learn about how your body changes as you get older, you can avoid feeling alone in your experiences.

Get Tested for Common Conditions

As we get older, there are certain health problems for which the risk increases. Some issues can affect both men and women, from cataracts to bowel cancer. However, other conditions are largely a female concern. Although a small number of men can get breast cancer, it’s much more common for women. It’s recommended that women start having regular mammograms from their 40s or 50s. It’s also important to be aware of other female cancers and how to detect them. Cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial (womb) cancer are all concerns. Cervical cancer can be detected by a cervical smear test. However, other female cancers can rely on spotting symptoms.

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Credit: Doug Jordan

Check Your Insurance Options

It’s important to take a look at your medical insurance options when you reach a certain age. When you retire, you won’t be insured by an employer anymore. Medicare covers citizens who are 65 and over and pays about half of medical expenses, on average. You can also get a Medicare supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan. If you go to Floridamedicareadvantageplans.com, you can read about which of these is best for you. It’s important to take a look at your insurance arrangements as your needs change. Many older people have higher medical needs, so it could be time to reassess your plan.

Combat Risks

Having tests to detect certain illnesses you are at risk for is essential. However, you can also take steps to combat certain health risks that older women face. For example, osteoporosis, a disease of the bones, is more common in women than in men. Heart disease is the biggest cause of death for women. It’s important to understand that these things can occur and how women can help to combat them. For example, there are exercises you can do to help you keep your bones strong and lower your chances of developing osteoporosis. You can ensure that you have a healthy diet and exercise routine to beat the causes of heart disease.

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Credit: Amanda Mills

Be Aware of the Differences Between Men and Women

Sometimes, you should be aware of how the same health issue can affect men and women differently. For example, both men and women can have heart attacks. Many feel they are familiar with the symptoms. However, the symptoms of heart attack that most people know are those most often experienced by men. People are often unaware that women can experience different symptoms to the chest pains and pain in the left arm. Women are more likely to have symptoms that are unrelated to chest pain, such as a sore jaw or pain in their upper back. You can read more about it at heart.org.

Recognizing differences such as these can be very important. Sometimes you have to go looking for the information. Speaking to your doctor or finding a women’s health forum can help. It can ensure you’re aware of how certain problems can affect women.

Your health needs will change as you get older. Being aware of how things will change can help you to navigate your later years.

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