Feeling good about your health is something that you often have to be proactive about as you age. One of the ways you can lead a healthy and independent life is to have regular health screenings, especially once you’re 65+.
Below is our list of recommended screenings to help keep senior citizens safe, happy, and healthy. These are medical examinations that can either be ordered or completed when you visit your doctor.
Your physician will know when they need to have any additional examinations done based on your personal health profile. Here are some of the screenings you should get at least once after you’ve passed the 65+ marker.
Blood Pressure Test
You might be one of the millions of people that suffers from high blood pressure and don’t even know it. Allow a health care provider to check your blood pressure levels at least once each year, especially once you hit 60.
This may not be necessary if you have normal blood pressure. But, if you’re one that has higher than normal blood pressure, you might need this type of reading regularly. Your heart, kidneys, eyes, brain, and arteries will thank you later.
Colorectal Cancer Health Screenings
Most healthcare institutions will recommend this type of screening as soon as you hit age 50 and should continue regularly all the way up to age 75. However, if you’ve had any risk factors, you might have to be screened either more frequently or earlier.
- Fecal occult blood testing should be done every year.
- Sigmoidoscopy should be done every five years or so.
- A colonoscopy should be conducted every 10 years or so.
Of all the tests that help prevent cancer, screening for colon cancer between ages 50-75 is most important. This can be done with a yearly stool sample or a colonoscopy every 10 years. Communicate with your doctor to figure out what will work best for you. The benefits and risks of all these screening techniques vary.
Prostate Cancer Screening
Men between 55-70 should discuss the pros and cons of screening with their doctors. Depending on your health and concerns about side effects, some doctors may not recommend the screenings.
A huge reason why so many people suffer from strokes and heart attacks is due to high cholesterol levels. You can treat high cholesterol levels with medication and diet. That’s why it’s important you measure your “good” cholesterol, HDL, and “bad” cholesterol, LDL, as often as you possibly can.
Advanced lipid tests will give you even more information about how your cardiovascular system is generally doing.
Protection of the Bones
Osteoporosis is something you definitely don’t want to go through. If you’ve got it and you fracture one of your bones, especially the hip bone, you have significantly increased the risk of being disabled permanently or even death.
Ask your physician if they can help go through a bone density exam, especially if you are a woman aged 65 or older.
At least twenty-five percent of folks between 65-75 suffer from disabling hearing loss. However, that’s a number that increases to about fifty percent with age. If you’re over 65 and you think you might have trouble hearing, talk with your doctor about a hearing evaluation. Studies show that significant hearing loss is associated with a six-fold increase in the risk of dementia. After testing, many patients are able to find treatments that can help with hearing loss.
Annual Wellness Visit
What’s that saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? That proverb certainly rings true for this screening. This annual visit addresses the nuts and bolts of your health: your medical history; your height, weight and blood pressure; immunization updates; any ongoing medications you’re taking — and your goals of care. This visit gives you the opportunity to ask any questions of your doctor, and helps you proactively stay on top of your health.
For Women: Annual Well Woman Exam
Many women have been in the habit of visiting their Primary Care Physician or Gynecologist for their annual exam, and it’s good practice to keep this up, at least until age 65. Your doctor will determine which tests and screenings are necessary during this visit based on your overall health, conversation and family history. Many of the basic facets of an annual wellness exam listed above are often covered during this visit, and could also include a breast exam, mammogram, pelvic exam, and Pap smear.
Hopefully, now you know just how important regular health screenings are, especially when you’re over 65.
Contact us today so we can provide you with all the information you need for your medical care needs.