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Attention to health vital for women of all ages

When life gets hectic and the daily calendar overflows with appointments and events, the first thing many women neglect is their own needs  including their health.

National Women's Health Week began yesterday with Mother's Day and continues through Saturday. The week is a reminder to women and the men in their lives, that women need to pay attention and take care of themselves. To help, WomensHealth.gov gives each woman  from those in their 20s to those in their 90s  a checklist for how to help prevent health problems now and in the future, as well as what to talk to their doctor about during annual visits.

Dr. Kristie Mason, family medicine and practice physician with SMA (Southwestern Medical Center) Southwestern Primary Care, sees women neglecting their own health needs while taking care of others'.

"That unfortunately happens way too often," Mason said, explaining that in her practice, she sees women taking on the role of unpaid caregivers for members of their families dealing with serious diseases. "They are letting their (own) health sit on the back burner."

Putting their health needs on the "back burner" can happen when women are taking care of the everyday needs of their families, she added.

Even though times have changed, women are still the primary nurturers or unpaid caregivers in the U.S.

"Upwards of 75 percent of all (unpaid) caregivers are female," cited the Institute on Aging in 2016 on the Family Caregiver Alliance website, www.caregiver.org.

The Lawton Constitution

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