In recognition of Father’s Day and Men’s Health Week, celebrated each year as the week leading up to it, State Senator Neil Breslin (D-Albany) today called upon New York families to urge Dad to take good care of himself by making sure to get regular medical care.
"Between the demands of work, caring for loved ones, and the constant upkeep of cars and home, many Dads put off getting an annual checkup," Senator Breslin said. "This year, the greatest gift we can give our fathers– and all the men in our lives who have acted as a father figure– is to make their health and safety a top priority."
A number of common health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol, can remain undiagnosed for years because they present with subtle and vague problems, if at all. Known as silent killers, they quietly damage body organs and tissues, sometimes for years, before reaching the stage where symptoms begin to appear.
"Men’s health problems aren’t solely about men, since their health impacts the lives of spouses, children and other loved ones," said Senator Breslin. "Taking the time for routine preventive care is part of being a family man; it’s something you do for those who would be shattered to lose you."
For uninsured or underinsured individuals, the sticking point may be access to care.
"Even those without health coverage can take advantage of the excellent healthcare services provided at New York’s community health centers," Senator Breslin said, noting that a variety of medical and dental-related services are offered at little or no cost. For services available in Albany County, contact the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center at 465-4771.
The Albany lawmaker said the value of physical exams and their frequency depends largely on a person’s age and gender, though personal and family medical history are important as well. In any case, regular medical care and lab tests can help identify treatable problems early. For some conditions, early detection and treatment prevents the development of more serious problems.
"The most valuable lessons I learned from my father were the ones he never actually tried to teach me– he simply lived them," Senator Breslin said. "With this in mind, I urge men who act as father figures to get into the habit of seeking medical advice.
"Children don’t come into the world with an installation manual, so parents and guardians can only do the best they can," he concluded. "Truly, I believe taking steps to protect our health is a fundamental part of doing our best."