Saturday, 25 May 2019

The Aging Process For Men and Women. Main Differences

The Aging Process

Getting Real about Getting Older
Linda Stroh, Karen Brees

THE AGING PROCESS IS DIFFERENT FOR MEN AND WOMEN

Psychologists tell us that men and women do age differently, and our respondents agree. For sure, young girls develop physically much more quickly than do young boys, but it is less clear how or why women age more quickly than men. How people age is determined in large part by lifestyle decisions over which they have a great deal of control, such as whether they’re smokers or heavy drinkers, as well as what they eat and how much they exercise. Men and women are remarkably alike in the effects of lifestyle decisions on the aging process, and it’s no secret that maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps both men and women age well. Level of education, working conditions, and basic health care also influence aging, as do the culture you’re born into, and, of course, your gene pool.

The Aging Process For Men and Women. Main Differences - photo 1

The Aging Process

On average, women outlive men. Women live an average of 81.2 years, while men live an average of 76.3 years.17 There’s good news for men, however; this gap seems to be narrowing. According to the 2010 census, the percentage of men in the United States over the age of sixty-five has been increasing at a significantly faster rate than for women for the first time since data have been collected. Among men in the oldest age group (between eighty-five and ninety-four) the increase was 46.5 percent, versus 22.9 percent for women. The highest ratio of women to men, however, is still in our later years. There is much debate about why women generally outlive men. Some researchers point to genetic differences, and others to the incidence of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases that have higher fatality rates in men than in women. Finally, men, as a group, engage in riskier behaviors, which, of course, affects the statistics. The Aging Process.

The Aging Process For Men and Women. Main Differences - photo 2

The Aging Process

While scientists offer several explanations for why women live longer, our female respondents came up with another idea: women can’t get the men in their lives to go to the doctor. They just might be right! I honestly don’t understand my husband. He simply refuses to go to the doctor about anything. He says they won’t be able to do anything about his arthritis, and I told him he’s right. If he won’t do anything to help himself, such as making an appointment to find out what can be done, nothing will get done. In the meantime, he’s in pain. I can see it in his eyes, and I definitely can tell he’s hurting because he’s so grumpy. I’m at my wit’s end.
—Seventy-five-year-old fed-up wife. The Aging Process

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The Aging Process

My brother had this black mole on his forehead. He used to joke about it until one day, he went to the doctor for a blood pressure check. Turned out the black mole was a melanoma and he’d waited too long. They took it off, but he had to go the chemo route and he was so sick. He didn’t get better. I wish I’d been more insistent, but I kept thinking he knew what he was doing. He didn’t. I think he was waiting for somebody to give him some sort of permission to go get it looked at so he didn’t appear to be foolish.
—Seventy-year-old shoulda-been-a-nag sister. The Aging Process

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The Aging Process

Yes, I’m a first-class nag. I admit it. And it’s a damn good thing I am, or my husband would be pushing up daisies. That pain in his left shoulder worried me. He was short of breath, too, so I did the only thing I could think of. I called the doctor’s office and made an appointment. Then, I asked him if he wanted to go to the store with me, and when he got in the car, I drove straight to the doctor’s office, turned off the car and asked him if he wanted to go inside, or would he rather go inside the funeral home and sign the papers. He grumbled, but he went in. He needed a double bypass and I didn’t even tell him, “I told you so.” He’s still around and I’m glad.
—Seventy-six-year-old glad-she’s-a-nag wife. The Aging Process

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The Aging Process

Are you familiar with the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus? Many of our female respondents would agree that men are definitely from Mars when it comes to caring for themselves. They say ignorance is bliss, and, if it’s true, my spouse is the most blissful person on the planet. He just seems to assume everything will just happen without any work on his part. Of course, I guess he’s right. He’s got me. I guess it’s my job to take care of him. I’ve been doing it for nearly fifty years now, and if he’s clueless about what to do, I guess it’s my fault as much as his. Do modern wives still have to take care of their spouse’s health?
—Seventy-eight-year-old not-so-blissful wife. The Aging Process

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The Aging Process

My wife spends all her time at the doctor’s office. If she’s not going to the skin doctor to have a practically invisible spot frozen off her cheek, she’s at the foot doctor complaining about her bunions. I think she goes a little overboard on this doctor thing.
—Seventy-year-old not-going-overboard husband. The Aging Process

REALITY CHECK

Maybe our respondents are on to something. Maybe women do pay better attention to their health and address medical concerns a lot sooner than men do. Maybe they’re better educated in how to prevent illnesses and how to identify problems when they do arise. And just maybe this is one of the reasons why women live longer than men.
1.The Aging Process. If you’re one of those people who won’t go to the doctor until you’re at death’s door, or if you’re living with someone like this, what are the excuses for not going? What do you think is causing the resistance?
2.The Aging Process. If you’re the “nag,” what new approach might you consider using to get this person to the doctor? How about stories of people who overlooked warning signals? Are there changes in your spouse that you’re concerned about? Are there friends or other family members who might be better at convincing this person to change his or her behavior?
3.The Aging Process. There’s always room for improvement when it comes to our diets, drinking habits, and exercise regimens. What changes could you make with your spouse that would encourage both of you to improve your habits?

The Aging Process For Men and Women. Main Differences - photo 7

The Aging Process

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