Most people would agree that they believe going to the doctor is only necessary when they aren’t feeling well or if they have a specific medical condition that requires attention or treatment. However, the truth is, that preventive care is critical for overall health and well-being, especially for seniors.
Preventive care includes medical care services designed to diagnose and treat conditions before they escalate. Unfortunately, research shows that over 50% of seniors over the age of 65 are not up-to-date on the preventive services recommended by medical professionals. Typically, this is because they are concerned about the costs- but most insurance plans including Medicare cover all preventive services.
The pre-qualified, experienced caregivers at Caring Healthcare are equipped to help with some preventive care services. In this article, we’ll discuss important preventive health services for seniors.
Recommended Preventive Services for Older Adults
The following preventive services are important for all ages, especially those over the age of 65.
Everyone should visit their general physician once a year for a physical. During this visit, they will measure your height, weight, and BMI. Additionally, your medical provider will discuss your current medications, eating and lifestyle habits, activity levels, and anything else that needs to be discussed. The purpose of this exam is to monitor your overall health from year to year.
Flu & Pneumonia Vaccinations
Research indicates that over 70% of flu-related deaths are in patients 65 and older. The flu vaccine can help prevent the flu. There are two pneumonia vaccinations that are recommended for older adults to reduce the risk of pneumonia, PPSV and PCV13. For patients who do develop pneumonia, these vaccinations can prevent life-threatening complications.
Breast Cancer Screening
The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. In fact, nearly 50% of all new breast cancer cases are in females over the age of 65. Medical experts recommend that females between the ages of 50 to 74 should have a mammogram every 2 years, possibly more depending on their risk factors.
Colorectal Cancer Screening
The AAFP recommends colorectal cancer screenings for patients aged 50 to 75. About 60% of new colorectal cancer diagnoses are in patients over the age of 70. There are several different screening tests available, each with their own benefits and risks. You should discuss the various options with your medical provider to determine which one is best for you.
One of the leading risk factors for heart disease and stroke is high cholesterol. Medical experts recommend that regular cholesterol screening begin at age 35 for males and 45 for females. Patients who have other risk factors for heart disease should begin screening at age 20.
Diabetes affects approximately 25% of adults over the age of 65. Therefore, diabetes screening is important for older adults, especially in those who are overweight or obese- even if you don’t have other symptoms.
Blood Pressure Screening
The risk of developing high blood pressure also increases with age. This is why your medical provider will check your blood pressure any time you are in the office. If you have a family history or other risk factors, your physician may recommend that you get a blood pressure monitor to use at home.
Finally, as you age, the risk of developing osteoporosis increases. Medical experts recommend that females over the age of 65 be tested for osteoporosis at their yearly exam.
In-Home Care Can Help with Some Preventive Services
The caregivers at Caring Healthcare understand the importance of these preventive services and can help with some including blood pressure and diabetes screening. We can also encourage you or your loved one to adopt healthy lifestyle and dietary habits to improve their overall health. Schedule your care assessment today to learn more about what we can do for you.