12 things senior men can do to take care of their health (and how Medicare can help)

Written by Ari Parker Updated: Wednesday, February 28, 2024

While taking care of your health is important at any age, there are specific health concerns that men over the age of 60 should address. As a man, you’re more at risk for cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and stroke than women. Older men also have to take preventative measures against prostate cancer. 

The good news is that Medicare was created with the older population in mind. As such, it covers the services you need to maintain your health as you age. From regular screenings and checkups to checking in with your mental health, we’ll uncover the many ways older men can put their Medicare healthcare benefits to work.  

1. Schedule regular check-ups

Regular doctor check-ups and screenings are key to preventing conditions that men are more at risk for. Screening for things like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and heart problems and getting your vitals, blood pressure, and cholesterol checked are good ways to catch and treat health issues.

Try setting up a routine for check-ups and screenings. Medicare has comprehensive coverage for preventative screenings and doctor visits, so you can schedule your appointments without worrying about the cost.

  • Annual “Wellness” visit: Medicare's annual Wellness visit is a preventive care benefit. During your appointment, your doctor will review your medical history, perform a health risk assessment, and develop a personalized prevention plan. This yearly visit is a good opportunity to raise any flags about your health and catch problems early.

  • Welcome to Medicare visit: Medicare's "Welcome to Medicare" visit is a one-time preventive care benefit for people new to Medicare. You can schedule this visit within 12 months of receiving your Part B benefits. During this time, your healthcare provider will review your medical history, measure your height, weight, and blood pressure, and provide personalized health advice and screenings. If you’re new to Medicare, it's a great way to kickstart a healthcare plan.

  • Preventative care: Medicare covers preventative tests to diagnose, prevent, and treat health conditions. This includes cardiovascular, diabetes, mental health, cancers, colonoscopy, HIV, Hepatitis, STI, and other screenings. Medicare also covers many vaccines as part of its preventative care coverage. 

2. Maintain a healthy diet

Throughout our lifetime we’re told to maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. This tip is that much more important as we age because high blood pressure affects older adults much more seriously. In fact, most hospitalizations in older adults occur due to high blood pressure.

Make sure you eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. Limit how much you eat saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars. These foods can lead to high blood pressure as well as long-term heart problems.

You can address any concerns you have about nutrition during your Medicare annual Wellness visit. Your doctor can also help you make a personalized plan. Medicare also covers:

3. Check in on your prostate health

Most cases of prostate cancer occur in men over 65, so it's important for you to talk to your doctor to catch any irregularities early on. Prostate problems can lead to urinary difficulties and more serious conditions, like cancer. 

Medicare covers prostate screenings, medication, and procedures like UroLift to treat Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and other prostate related issues.

4. Exercise regularly

Maintaining an active lifestyle can prevent chronic conditions and make you feel good. Although Original Medicare doesn’t cover fitness programs, some Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans offer extra benefits to promote physical activity, like SilverSneakers. Other fitness programs could include a gym membership, group classes, or online classes and brain exercises. 

5. Pay attention to your bone health

Though women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, all older adults should pay attention to bone and joint health because your bones naturally become weaker and more prone to breakage as you age. You can avoid fractures and manage arthritis with regular screenings from your doctor. 

For bone health and mobility issues, Medicare covers:

  • Physical therapy sessions if your healthcare provider recommends it for strength building

  • Acupuncture if you have chronic back pain (which could be due to a joint/spine problem)

  • Prescription drugs for chronic pain medications

  • Certain mobility devices to make movement easier

6. Manage your heart

Heart problems are much more prevalent in older men. The risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and certain arrhythmias like AFib increase as you age. In addition to eating well and exercising regularly to prevent heart problems, you’ll want to screen for cardiovascular issues, check in on high blood pressure concerns with your doctor, and schedule procedures or pick up medication for any heart-related conditions.

Medicare has comprehensive coverage for heart problems and high blood pressure. The insurance covers services for:

  • Cardiac ablation

  • Cardiac rehabilitation programs following a heart surgery 

  • Behavioral therapy for cardiovascular disease

  • Blood pressure monitors if your readings are consistently inaccurate

  • Medications to manage blood pressure

7. Prioritize sleep health

Healthy sleeping habits can help improve your mood and wellbeing, but sleep disorders can make it difficult to get good sleep. Sleep apnea is more common in men than women—men are two to four times more likely to develop the sleeping condition. 

If your doctor suspects you have sleep apnea, Medicare will cover sleep studies and any equipment you may need, like a CPAP or BiPAP machine.

8. Stay socially active

People don’t often think of loneliness as something that can negatively impact your health. However, loneliness can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and likelihood of dementia. It isn't always easy to maintain social connections as you age, but it’s important to nurture relationships with people around you for your overall health. Talking to friends and family can help you feel more balanced. 

Medicare Advantage plans with group fitness programs can help you meet people and stay socially active. You can also move to a senior community or take up a new hobby to develop social connections.

9. Check in with your mental health

Mental health is a vital part of your overall well being that you shouldn’t ignore. Poor mental health can lead to issues in the long run, like a weakened immune system, digestive problems, sleep disorders, musculoskeletal issues, and hormonal imbalances. 

Taking care of your mental health can help with your emotions and body function. Medicare helps pay for mental health services like:

  • Depression screenings

  • Psychotherapy with a licensed professional

  • Family counseling in certain situations

  • Psychiatric evaluations

  • Medications

  • Mental health services for substance abuse

10. Protect your skin

Aging skin is more prone to damage, injury, and cancer. Fortunately, Medicare covers dermatology visits if they’re medically necessary to treat skin conditions or if you need skin grafting surgery from an injury. 

You can also get Medicare coverage for skin cancer screenings, procedures to remove cancerous skin cells, and medications to treat skin cancer.

11. Keep track of your medications

If you’re managing multiple conditions with medication, it’s important to keep them organized, take them when you need to, and discuss any concerns or side effects with your healthcare provider.

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. If anything changes in your life and you need new drug coverage, you can switch plans during the Annual Enrollment Period or during eligible special enrollment periods. If you need help finding a Medicare plan that better fits your needs, we’re here to help!. Schedule a time to chat with us or call us at (855) 900-2427 to get free Medicare advice and support.

12. Address any dental, vision, and hearing issues

Your dental, vision, and hearing health naturally declines in the later years of your life. Some Medicare Advantage plans have coverage for routine dental, vision, and hearing services. They can also pay for glasses and hearing aids. All Medicare plans help pay for cataract surgery and glasses you may need following the surgery.

Get help choosing and using your Medicare insurance

Whether you’re just getting started with Medicare or are already using it, it can feel overwhelming. Unfortunately, making the wrong Medicare choices can also cost you thousands of dollars. Chapter provides Medicare assistance to help you understand your Medicare insurance options, choose the right coverage to fit your needs, and use your plan’s benefits as needed. Give us a call at 855-900-2427 or schedule a time to talk to get free advice and support—so you can feel confident in your Medicare coverage!

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