What is the best preventive health check-up for older adults?
• Annual Wellness Exam
A physical is recommended once a year. It involves measuring your height, weight, and BMI. During your visit, your doctor will discuss any medications you are taking, your diet, and how active you are. This exam is an opportunity for your doctor to check your overall health.
• Breast Cancer Screening
Age increases your risk of breast cancer. The majority of newly diagnosed breast cancer cases occur in women aged 65 and older. A mammogram is recommended every two years for women 50 to 74 who are at risk of breast cancer. If you are at increased risk for breast cancer, you might be recommended to have a mammogram more frequently.
• Colorectal Cancer Screening
About 60% of new cases of colorectal cancer occur among adults 70 years of age and older. The AAFP recommends fecal immunochemical tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening between 50 and 75. Different screening methods have various risks, benefits, and levels of supporting evidence. Consult your doctor about the most appropriate screening test for you.
• Cholesterol Screening
A high cholesterol level increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. All women and men over the age of 35 and 45 should check their cholesterol levels regularly. Men and women over 20 with risk factors for heart disease should also be tested. A blood test checks cholesterol levels.
• Diabetes Screening
Older adults are much more likely to develop diabetes. One in every four adults 65 and older suffers from it. In the case of obesity, you may be tested for diabetes, even if you have no symptoms.
• High Blood Pressure Screening
High blood pressure is more likely to develop with age. In most cases, you’ll have this checked every time you visit your doctor, preferably every year.
• Osteoporosis Screening
As we age, our risk of osteoporosis increases. Over 65-year-old women should be tested for osteoporosis. Known as a bone density test, this test measures how much bone mass is available in the body.
Questions to ask your doctor:
1. How often should I have a screening?
2. What happens during each screening?
3. Is it possible to have all these tests done when I go to the doctor once a year?
4. What makes me more likely to develop a particular disease or condition?
A complete blood count (CBC) test requires your blood sample. Your blood cells may also be examined for unusual colour, shape, and size. It helps detect many disorders, including leukemia, anemia, and infections.
Another blood test analyzes the blood filtering capabilities of your kidneys. The higher the blood creatinine levels, the weaker the kidneys.
Thyroid tests: Including T3, T4, T3RU, and TSH. They are blood tests that determine your thyroid gland’s health.
Tests of fasting blood sugar (FBG) are done to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes after fasting for at least 8 hours.
Prostate test (DRE and PSA tests): Check for prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate.
Physicians recommend seniors undergo preventive health checkups as a part of their annual routine because it helps detect ailments early to treat them effectively. Various factors such as age, sex, medical history, family history, etc., play their stakes in the effectiveness of preventive health checkups. As you can guess from the package’s name, they are “preventive” checkups for various health conditions and issues.
In conclusion, the most critical way to tackle this problem is to follow a healthy lifestyle. This will provide your body’s needed nutrients and other factors through excellent diet and exercise habits. By following wholesome routines with discipline, one can prevent significant health issues in the mature years of their life.
Check-ups are only “preventive” when we do them regularly. As long as we keep screening our health, many issues can get diagnosed and treated before it’s too late. Here are the tests you should do regularly to check for signs of common diseases:
• Blood pressure test
• Fasting blood sugar test
• Oxygen measurement
• Bone density measurement
• Lipid Profile
• Function tests of kidney and liver
• Ultrasound of abdomen
• TSH Test for thyroid
Regular breast examination for women and prostate examination for men are also recommended.