8 Preventative Health Screenings Every Senior Should Consider
As many seniors begin to realize, as they grow older, is that as they continue to age, they also continue to run into a number of potential health issues. The aging process is different for everyone, based on their genetics, lifestyle and a myriad of other factors.
This is why it is so important for seniors, no matter what their age or their current health status may be, should be aware of different preventative health screenings. These health screenings can help detect health issues that tend to impact older adults and determine whether or not a senior may be at risk for these conditions.
- Bone Density Scan- Bone density tends to decrease greatly as we age, particularly in women. A bone density can determine if you are at risk for osteoporosis or a fracture. All women age 65 and older should get this test.
- Blood Pressure Screenings- According to the CDC, about 1/3 of Americans have high blood pressure, and the older that you are, the more predisposed you are for high blood pressure. These blood pressure screenings are easy to come by and quick and painless. Seniors should have their blood pressure tested every year.
- Colonoscopy- This is one preventative health screening that isn’t as simple and painless as blood pressure screening, but it is one that is important. Most people know this is a somewhat time-consuming procedure, but a very important screening tool for colon cancer. At age 50, adults should start with colonoscopy. The process of drinking a solution to promote bowel clearance has become more tolerable lately.
- Cholesterol Tests- High cholesterol is a common side effect of aging and one that every senior should be on the lookout for. There are cholesterol and lipid blood tests that can measure your good and bad cholesterol tests—which can tell you if you are at risk for heart attack or stroke. Typically, seniors should get these screenings once every five years.
- Diabetes Screenings- Diabetes is common in overweight individuals who are over their ideal body weight and typically do not get much exercise. It is also more common in those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Seniors should get this screening done every other year.
- Hearing Test- Unfortunately, as most seniors know, hearing tends to decrease with age. By the age of 60, around 25 percent of seniors will suffer hearing loss in both ears. Seniors should get a hearing test done annually.
- Prostate Cancer Screening- Prostate cancer is most common in men age 65 and older. It tends to develop slowly and is one of the most common cancers in adult men. Consult your doctor who can help you determine how often you should be getting a prostate cancer screening.
- Skin Checks- More people have skin cancer than all other cancers combined. Melanoma is the most dangerous and is common among adults who experience greater than normal sun exposure and is more likely the older you get. These skin checks should be done annually.
If you are a senior age 65 and older, make sure that you are incorporating these important health screenings into your regular routine.
- Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place for her senior research project and placed in the 98th percentile on the national exam for OB/GYN residents in the U.S..
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