Men’s Health Matters

Elise Arsenault, Social Work master student

As we head full swing into summer, I am happy to share that we’ve been busy planning the upcoming fall schedule for Well 50+ and Caregivers. We have the good fortune to be able to welcome Elise Arsenault, a master’s student in social work, for a project especially for male caregivers. Speaking of which, she has kindly agreed to write the following short piece on this month’s focus: men’s health.

Gender Differences in Healthcare

June is Men’s Health Month, a time to think about the importance of men’s health and well-being. Statistics show there are big differences in how men and women use healthcare and social services in the following areas:

  • Healthcare use – Studies show that men are less likely to go for preventive healthcare like regular check-ups and screenings. This can delay the diagnosis and treatment of health issues. Men can be reluctant to use healthcare services because of societal norms about masculinity and fear of stigma, and because they may feel invincible.
  • Unequal health outcomes – In Quebec and elsewhere, men tend to have shorter life expectancies and higher rates of death from preventable causes than women. Men are more affected by health issues like heart disease and mental health problems, underscoring the need to focus on men’s specific health needs.

Tips to help guys make their health a priority

Here are some tips to help guys prioritize their health. Of course, this is also great advice for people of any gender.

  • Stay active – Regular exercise improves heart health and overall well-being.
  • Regular check-ups – Schedule routine doctor visits to catch and address health issues early.
  • Eat a balanced diet – Choose nutrient-rich foods to support your health.
  • Manage stress – Use techniques like mindfulness and relaxation to reduce stress.
  • Communicate openly – Talk about health concerns with loved ones and healthcare providers for better support.
  • Build strong relationships – Surround yourself with supportive people who enhance your life.

Advice for caregivers

Male caregivers must also prioritize their own health. Caregiving can be physically and mentally demanding, leading to stress and physical strain. Remember, to care for others, you need to take care of yourself first. Being part of a supportive community can help provide the needed support and resilience.

With that goal at heart, we’re excited to launch a new project this fall for English-speaking male caregivers in the Capitale-Nationale region called SHEDquarters. Inspired by the Men’s Sheds initiative, this venture is led by Élise Arsenault, a master’s student in social work at Université Laval. The group will provide a supportive space for male caregivers of all ages to engage in enjoyable activities, promoting both mental and physical health through community and camaraderie.

For more details about the SHEDquarters project, please contact:

Taking steps to care for your health and connecting with others can make a significant difference. Let’s use Men’s Health Month as a reminder to prioritize our well-being and support one another.

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