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9 Health Check Ups for Seniors and Older Adults


Ever heard the famous saying that prevention is better than cure? well it turns out that this holds true because you really do not want to get caught up paying huge sums of money treating something that could have been prevented. It is also a painful experience to go through such ordeals.

People who are young do not really see the need for some routine test. But as we age, the strive to remain disease free increases and we become prone to so many diseases because our body and organs are becoming weaker. Some diseases also come as a result of getting old and therefore there are some routine test that seniors must do so that it can me managed early.

It is important to know that certain factors can also determine the number of checkups to do, such as your past medical history, family history and type of lifestyle that you led when young. When talking about the type of lifestyle, its is necessary to look at things like level of physical activity, sleep patterns, type of job, eating habits and so on. The Centers for Disease control and prevention (CDC) has stressed on the importance of getting regular check ups, pointing out that it can help you find find problems earlier, when your chances for treatment and cure are better.

Below, you will see some important screenings and checkups that are important to do.

1 Cervical Cancer and 2) Breast Cancer Screening

A few years ago, it was thought that the chances of getting cancer increases in age and only older women, probably above the age of 35 could start thinking of breast cancer screening. However, times have changed and every woman of child bearing age encouraged to get screened for breast cancer. Women should also do breast self examination to look for any lumps, irregularities or changes in their breast.
It is also important that you call your health care provider to talk about breast cancer screening. Furthermore, do not forget to call your health insurance provider to know if they cover the cost of screening or if you have to do co-pays or pay out of pocket.
The CDC's National Breast and Cervical screening program does breast and cervical cancer screening for women in the United States who are uninsured, under-insured or have low income. You can go to their website and put in your state or territory to get cervical and breast cancer screenings.

The CDC recommends that:


  • Women should get their first PAP smear at the age of 21 and continue to do regular screenings till 65
  • Women between the ages of 50 and 75 should get mammograms every two years while those who are below 50 should talk with their health care provider and do so regularly


3 High blood pressure

High blood pressure is also known as the "silent killer" because it has no warning signs and it is usually discovered when a lot of damage has already been done. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 3 adults in the United states (or 75 million people) suffers from high blood pressure and only 54% of these people have their blood pressure under control. High blood pressure increases the risk for stroke and heart disease, which is among the top killers of people in the United states.
It is better to buy a an electronic Blood pressure machine and take your measurements regularly and show the results to your health care provider.

You can prevent high blood pressure by consulting with an nutritionist/dietitian/fitness expert so that you can make healthy choices and you can also prevent high blood pressure by managing existing conditions such as kidney disease or stress. 

4 Prostate Cancer Screening

In order to screen for prostate cancer, your health care provider will use your blood to do a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). Test. Elevated levels of PSA may indicate that you have a prostate infection, prostate cancer, or prostate enlargement. Elevated PSA levels may also be caused by certain medications or a medical procedure. Your health care Provider may order for a biopsy if he suspects that you have prostate cancer. 

5 Cholesterol test

Too much cholesterol in the blood increases the risk for developing stroke and heart disease; which are among the top killers of people in the united states. Just like high blood pressure, there are no signs and symptoms of high cholesterol, you can only know if you get yourself checked. 

6 Eye Exam

It is very important to have the eyes checked especially if a senior has high blood pressure since it is a risk factor for glaucoma. Cataracts and vision problems can also be discovered through an eye examination.

7 Hearing Test

it is important for seniors to speak with their health care provider in order to get routine exams to test if there is hearing loss. 

8 Test for Diabetes

A fasting blood sugar test can be done in order to check if seniors have pre-diabetes or are diabetic since you can't know without a blood test. 

9 Colorectal Cancer Screening 

People who are above 50 years of age should get screened. According to the CDC, about 90% of newly diagnosed colorectal cancer cases occurs in people who are above 50 years of age. Screening is done and abnormal growths (colorectal polyps) are found in the colon and rectum they can be removed before it becomes cancerous.

You should get screen for colorectal cancer if:
  • you have a family history of colorectal cancer or 
  • If you have inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease 

References
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Regular Checkups
Better Health While aging: 26 Recommended Preventive Health Services for Older Adults
Healthline.com: The Health Test That seniors Need
WebMD: Medical Test for Your 60's and Up

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