Aging and Your Gender

November 10, 2014

In the United States, men live on average 76.3 years while women live an average of 81.1 years. This is based on statistics provided by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in 2011. The difference between male and female life expectancies in the U.S. (4.8 years in favor of women) is consistent with the rest of the world, but may also speak to the difference in how men and women age.

It is important to understand the aging process and how it affects different genders. Learning what women do to live longer or what physiological differences account for a nearly 5 year difference in the average life expectancy may also give rise to changes that may need to be made in lifestyle choices, including diet, physical activity and habits.

Why Do Women Live Longer than Men?

In general terms, the aging process and the different ways in which we all age, regardless of gender, is a function of access to good nutrition, health and social services (particularly those that are specific to older Americans), and education, among different factors. Individuals that lack access to these factors tend to live shorter than those that do have access, making senior living communities an important part of healthy aging.

Free of societal restrictions or age/gender based discrimination that may influence outcomes in favor of one gender or the other, it appears that women make better choices toward their health as they age. Women are more prone to engage in diets that are healthier, lower in unsaturated fats and sodium content and may also exercise more and sleep better. Men work longer, stress more, and more often engage in risk behaviors such as smoking and drinking that can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, kidney disorders and lung disease.

Ways to Reduce the Trend and Live Longer

It is clear that to overcome the differences in the aging process for men and women, both genders need to engage in smarter, healthier choices designed to prolong longevity and reduce the risks associated with chronic disease. Obtaining information about healthier foods that contribute to strengthening bones, lowering fat and maintaining muscle mass is essential for promoting a healthier diet. Based on your physical condition, some form of activity is necessary in order to keep the body feeling good and working properly.

Something can also be said about maintaining healthy relationships as we age. Whether those relationships are with friends and colleagues, people in our neighborhood or family members, having a social connection can also help with mood and help you age gracefully, regardless of whether you are man or a woman.

No matter what your lifestyle needs, senior living communities provide a simple solution to healthier living. With an emphasis on social activity, healthy living and 24-hour assistance, senior living communities allow seniors to live comfortably and carefree knowing that they have access to the highest quality of care.

With locations throughout Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, Concordia Lutheran Ministries has the experience, resources and expertise needed to simplify life for you or your loved ones. From in-home services to retirement communities and senior housing, Concordia Lutheran Ministries has helped thousands of seniors live their life to the fullest. Contact Concordia today, learn more about our visiting nurses, arrange a tour of one of our eleven locations and discover how we can care for you!

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