health in my 60's

If we’re in good health, our 60s can be a carefree and adventurous time. A lot of us have more free time to see family, go on holidays and get more involved in our communities. Making the choice to stay active in our 60s is great for our health.

HEALTH AWARENESS IN MY 60’s

Many of us have planned for our retirement financially, but when we stop working what do we do with all that extra time on our hands? It’s important we keep busy, and make sure we stay mentally and physically active. This helps keep us healthy and enables our bodies to stay strong against the increased number of aches and illnesses we’re at risk of. Some common health conditions we might get in our 60s include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Worsening vision and hearing
  • Being more susceptible to colds and flus
  • Erection trouble and lower sex drive
  • Drinking too much too often
  • Having trouble keeping a sense of identity and purpose after retiring
  • Overeating and putting on weight
  • Muscular pains and strains

60’S HEALTH CHECK

Make the time to visit your doctor for a health check-up every year, and ask your doctor to send you an annual reminder. Your doctor can often detect early signs of illness by measuring various levels and comparing them with your previous readings. They might be changes in our cholesterol, PSA levels, blood pressure, weight or heart rate. The sooner health problems are detected, the sooner they can be monitored and treated. For all the information you need on getting a health check-up, including booking your appointment and what to ask for, download our Men’s Health Check-ups brochure.

These are some of the topics you might want to discuss at your health check.

  • Blood pressure
  • Weight
  • Liver health
  • Lung health
  • Flu vaccinations
  • Diabetes
  • Bone density
  • Cholesterol and heart health
  • Risks of prostate cancer and bowl cancer
  • Moles or patches of dry skin
  • Erection or performance problems
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Eyesight
  • Hearing

STEPS TO BETTER HEALTH IN OUR 60’s

In our 60s we need to make sure we are still being pro-active about our health concerns, that we’re going to our doctor for check-ups, and that we’re keeping an eye out for early signs and symptoms of illness. It’s as important as ever to eat well, stay active, and keep being social, to keep our hearts and heads in top condition. Take a look at what you can do.

60's check-ups schedule

Abdominal ultrasound 5 years
Blood pressure 2 years
Blood tests & urinalysis 3 years
Bone health 3 years
Chest health 2-3 years
Colon health Yearly
Partial colorectal exam Yearly
Complete colorectal exam 10 years
Eye health 2-3 years
Flu shot Yearly
Mental health Regularly
Oral health Yearly
Physical exam Yearly
Prostate health 2 years
STIs Regularly
Skin self exam 1-2 months
Testicle self exam yearly
Testosterone ask your doctor
Tetanus & diphtheria booster 10 years

WHAT CAN I DO?:

We should be going for a health check-up every year once we reach our 60s. Before you go to the doctor, think about whether your toilet patterns have changed recently. Are you are peeing more than normal? Has your poo consistency changed? These can be early signs of BOWEL CANCER or PROSTATE CANCER. These cancers are common in our 60s and if detected early can usually be fully cured, so tell your doctor about it. It’s also good to inspect your skin before your check-up. Look for any suspicious looking moles or crusty patches of skin and point these out to your doctor. Our 60s is a common time for MELANOMAS to be detected and removed. For more information on health check-ups, including a handy checklist to take with you, download our Men’s Health Check-ups brochure.

If you need to squint to watch TV or look at your computer, if your vision is blurry, or if you’re getting a lot of headaches or tense shoulders, it might be time to change your glasses prescription. Make an appointment with an optometrist to get your eyesight checked out. You can find an optometrist near you at Healthpoint.co.nz.

If we don’t use our brain, quite literally, we can lose it. We need to keep challenging our brains to help keep Alzheimer’s at bay. Travelling, learning new things, making stuff, meeting new people, reading, playing games, and doing puzzles are all good for this. Find something you enjoy.

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It is important for our blood pressure, our heart, and our happiness to stay active in our 60s. It can be a great excuse to socialise and spend time away from the house. Golf, lawn bowls, local walking groups, and tramping clubs are often on the lookout to recruit more men, and are great places to meet new people. It is also important that we give our muscles a workout. Resistance training improves the strength of our bones and joints, which helps keeps arthritis at bay.

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Has your drinking gotten away on you? It’s never too late to cut back and give your liver a chance to repair itself. If you’re overdoing it and want help to cut back, you can talk about it with your doctor, or get support from some of the health agencies around.

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Making time to see our friends and family, or talking to them on the phone is really important, particularly after we retire. Talk to your mates about retirement and aging, find out what they do to stay fulfilled, and plan to do things together. If you don’t know many people, maybe join a social group for like-minded people, eg. Menzshed, Fellowship NZ, or get involved in your local sports club. Talking helps us find out what to expect after we retire, and how to make the most of it.

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