If we are lucky, we get old. But we all age differently. This month, Right at Home Australia looks at some of the unique challenges women face as they age, how they can address these challenges, and how their loved ones can help.
Some of the top health considerations for women as they age include:
These are just a few of the reasons women should have an annual checkup with their doctor, even if they are feeling well. Besides, checking your health status – through a physical exam, bloodwork, and other screenings – the doctor will ask for family health history. Menopause symptoms and the risk for osteoporosis are both strongly influenced by genetics. Heart health is somewhat influenced by genetics but may also be influenced by lifestyle and environment.
“Do not deprive me of my age. I have earned it”. ― May Sarton, Belgian-American poet, 1912-1995
Studies in numerous countries have shown that older women are more likely than older men to experience stress, depression, and anxiety. Causes can include hormonal changes, caregiving responsibilities, and social isolation. Women may also have experienced gender-based discrimination or violence throughout their lives, which can affect mental health at any age. Older women may also be more vulnerable to developing cognitive impairment, such as dementia. This is partly because women tend to live longer than men, and age is a significant risk factor for cognitive decline.
These and other factors mean older women are more susceptible to elder abuse than older men. The World Health Organization defines elder abuse as “a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person”. It may take the form of “physical, sexual, psychological and emotional abuse, financial and material abuse, abandonment, neglect, and serious loss of dignity and respect”.
Women globally tend to be the default family caregivers and may in turn put aside their own needs. Women of all ages should care for their mental health just as they do their physical health – both have been shown to affect the other.
Older women are generally less financially secure than older men.
There are several reasons for this, including:
Here are some ways loved ones can help and advocate for women as they age:
Overall, supporting and advocating for women as they age requires patience, empathy, and a willingness to listen and respond to their needs. By being there for your loved one, you can help her maintain her health, safety, and well-being.
For any home care and assistance required to support your elderly loved one, give your local Right at Home office a call on 1300 363 802 or visit our website on www.rightathome.com.au
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Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care, and assistance to seniors (elderly and aged care), and any adult who needs our care at home including adults living with a disability who want to continue to live independently or age in their home. Right at Home is your local expert for issues related to caring for your loved ones and is dedicated to keeping you informed about home care. With no package management fees Right at Home allows you to get more care from your package or budget.
Right at Home is a 'My Aged Care' government approved, home care provider for levels 1 – 4 and offers flexible in-home care services such as nursing care, after hospital care, post-operative care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer's care. Right at Home also offers assistance with daily living and personal care such as grooming, hygiene, transport, shopping, meal prep, domestic services and social support, so your loved one can enjoy a more independent, vibrant life. Our nurses and caregivers are screened, highly trained, and insured prior to entering your home so you can trust us with the caregiving while you focus on your loved one.
To find out more, please give us a call on 1300 363 802 or visit our website.
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