Health and Safety for Older Women

Aging is different for women and men today than ever before, and research shows that women are particularly vulnerable to certain health conditions like breast cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease. To educate Iowa women on healthy living, disease prevention and treatment, a number of resources are available.

The Iowa Department of Public Health's Iowa Care for Yourself Program has local staff that can help women schedule clinical breast exams, mammograms, pelvic exams, Pap tests, height and weight measurements, blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose tests. The program offers cardiovascular services within eight program service areas to check for heart disease risk factors. In addition, you may also receive awareness, education, and goal-setting for making small healthy lifestyle changes that lower your health risks. For further information about the cardiovascular screening services and for program availability, call 515-281-6779.

Women's Health Iowa: Healthy Living Over 50 is a comprehensive resource for women developed in partnership between the Iowa Department of Health and Iowa State University Extension. Iowa also has state and local chapters of many major health information and advocacy organizations such as the American Heart Association, the Susan G. Komen Foundation (Breast Cancer), and many others.

Women are most likely both to be caregivers and to need caregivers; Iowa's Family Caregiver Program offers resources to help. Case management, health insurance, and many other resources are available from the Iowa Department on Aging. The Iowa Caregivers Association is an education and advocacy organization for professional caregivers.

Again, older women may be particularly vulnerable to elder abuse, or may be more at risk in the case of emergency or natural disaster. Protect yourself with information about elder abuse, environmental health hazards, and emergency or disaster preparedness. Neither are older women immune from domestic violence or sexual assault.