Take a moment to think about all the important men you have in your life. Who is on your list? Maybe it’s your husband, fiancé, father, brother, best friend, or favorite uncle. Now, try to remember the last time any of them visited the doctor. Do you know? Statistically speaking, more than half the men on your list probably haven’t been to see their primary care physician in over a year.
It’s an old cliché that men don’t like to visit the doctor, but multiple studies have proven this to be true. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are 80 percent less likely than women to have a usual source of health care. The American Academy of Family Physicians found that 55 percent of American men haven’t seen their doctor in over a year, and an additional study found that 25 percent of men admit to waiting as long as possible before seeking help for a health problem (Source: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois).
Men’s Health Week is June 13-19, which is the perfect opportunity for you to let your men know that their health matters to you. It can sometimes be awkward or uncomfortable to broach the subject of healthcare with loved ones, but it’s a conversation worth having. Here are some tips to help you encourage your special guys to make their health a priority.
Discuss your health goals together
Talking about your personal health goals can open the door for discussion of his goals as well. Ask him what changes he would like to see in his health and discuss ways you can accomplish those together. Maybe you can help him shed unwanted pounds by becoming his new running partner, or you can plan to cook healthy meals together throughout the week.
Help him find a doctor
If he doesn’t already have a primary care physician, offer to help him find one. Start by checking with his insurance for a list of in-network providers. Next, look online for reviews or ask local friends and family for personal recommendations. You can even expand your search by posting in a community page on social media. Show him your findings and encourage him to set up an appointment.
Offer to drive him to his appointment
If you have an elderly father, uncle or grandfather who feels uncomfortable driving, offer to be his chauffeur on the day of his appointment. Show up with a cup of his favorite coffee for the ride to the doctor’s office, or treat him to lunch after his appointment.
Tell him how much he means to you
Let him know that his health matters because you want to enjoy his company for many years to come. Even if he’s reluctant to see a doctor, knowing that his health is important to others may encourage him to finally take that first step.