From giving birth to us to sending us for our first day of school, through our troubled teenage years to blossoming as an adult and beyond, our mothers have seen it all.
And one special day of the year, society celebrates Motherhood with the tradition of buying flowers, gifts and meals for this very important family member. Such gestures will no doubt bring joy to most mothers. However, the best present we can give them is to keep their health in check so that they can enjoy good quality of life for many years to come. Here are some tips on how to keep your loved Mum healthy:
Take the time to bring her for a health check up
Mothers focus all their time and attention on their children, often neglecting their own psychological and physiological health in the process. This routinely goes on for the majority of the child’s upbringing, often continuing into the child’s adult years.
“Despite being healthcare professionals, my mother and I have also been guilty of neglecting ourselves for our children. Now as a new mother, I know what my mum must have gone through to bring us up” – says Georgina and her mother, who is a retired nurse from the UK.
Our love for our children prevails over our sense of self-preservation, so this Mother’s Day, consider not only the flowers and chocolates, but also giving mum something both of you will appreciate— the gift of good health.
Be proactive – take her to a health check-up and full blood screening at a local clinic or hospital, there are many affordable and premium health screening packages that you can find online. With certain conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension becoming endemic in Singapore, annual check-ups are only a start to ensuring Mum stays in the pink of health and giving your family peace of mind.
“Varicose veins and spider veins are more than a vanity issue. Varicose veins can lead to serious issues like skin ulcers, dangerous blood clots and permanent skin damage. Early screening for patients with varicose veins prevents complications from arising” – vascular specialist Dr. Cheng S.C.
If your mother has been diagnosed with any medical conditions such as hypertension or diabetes that come with an array of complications, arrange for more frequent visits to the doctor to stay abreast of any developments.
If your mother is over the age of 40, speak to her about scheduling for annual breast examinations, as well as tests for diabetes and high cholesterol at least once every three years.
For women over 50, they face elevated risks of osteoporosis and certain types of cancer, so be sure to speak to a doctor about it. These conversations may be awkward or difficult to have for both you and your mother, but she will surely appreciate you taking the time to arrange for these for her.
Take care of her feet
Many Singaporeans of all ages experience pain in their lower extremities. The causes of these problems are myriad, but common ones include bunions, plantar fasciitis, or flat feet. Our mothers are no exception to this. Whether they are homemakers, career women or both, our mothers have spent a lot of her time on their feet tending to the various demands on her time, their feet often hurt or aggravate.
Bunions are often associated with women and high heels, but I can assure you that while this condition may develop among women who frequently wear heels, unsuitable footwear is merely just one contributing factor to bunions.
Flat feet are not necessarily indicative of a lower extremity issue, but the odds of having a musculoskeletal condition or injury are higher when you have flat feet. Flat feet also increase the chances of injuries in other parts of your body as your body attempts to compensate for the misalignment. Even if mum is not experiencing pain, a check up for her feet can be helpful in revealing the condition of her feet as well as assessing if she requires a different type of footwear.
Other lower extremity conditions that Singaporeans often ignore involve our toenails. Fungal toe infections and ingrown toenails are frequently ignored until they cause pain or develop into more severe conditions. Many of the patients I see during clinic hours could have had their conditions treated at a much earlier stage with fewer complications, but the pace of life in Singapore often has us putting treatment off to a later time till it cannot be ignored.
Healthcare insurance coverage in Singapore is one of the best in the world, covered under our local private insurances, check up and surgery was at no cost to us. We had our hearing, breathing and throat checked, as well as for dizziness, snoring and sleep problems.
“Medical technology has progressed tremendously in recent years. Since the advent of endoscopes, assessment of the nose, sinus and throat couldn’t have been any easier. A nasoendoscopy is relatively simple, quick and painless”- ENT specialist Dr. Gan Eng Cern
ENT & Sinus Surgeon (www.DrGanENT.com)
Don’t let Mum put her health on the backseat for her family or career, spending some time with her at a check-up will only let you have more time with each other in the future.
Georgina Tay (Senior Podiatrist & Head of Department)
Georgina is a podiatrist from the U.K. who began her initial years of practising in Singapore by first serving in SGH. This was followed by a stint at NHG polyclinics before going into private practice to co-found East Coast Podiatry. As a mother of two children, Georgina holds a keen interest in paediatric care and is a firm believer in early intervention, to prevent the need for future surgeries in older children. She also treats highly complex cases such as drop foot, walking issues caused by cerebral palsy, and patients with special needs. Some of her clientele include patients from all over the world who travel specifically to Singapore for clinical advice and treatment at East Coast Podiatry.