Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Important Health Screenings for Seniors

As a senior, paying attention to your health is important. There are certain conditions that are more prevalent in older adults and may develop as a result of aging. Keeping on top of your health can help you live a longer, healthier life and maintain your independence. There are a variety of screenings that seniors should consider to remain proactive and catch problems early on.

·         Vision Screenings
Over time you may notice that your vision has deteriorated. It may have become more difficult to read fine print, focus on things that are further away, or see things clearly. Colors may not be as bright and images aren’t as focused. Regular vision screenings can identify issues such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, or just changes in your eyesight. There are many ways to treat these conditions and support better vision.

·         Hearing Screenings
Poor hearing can impact your safety and quality of life. It can make it more difficult to participate in conversations and hear alerts and other noises. Having your hearing checked can mean getting hearing aids or other devices to help you stay more engaged and not miss out.

·         Blood Pressure  and Cholesterol
Both of these factors can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack if they are not properly managed and become too high. Simple blood tests can measure levels of “good” and “bad” cholesterol as well as lipids. Changes in diet and exercise as well as medication can help to keep these conditions under control.

·         Breast Cancer
Women should continue to get annual mammograms even as seniors because breast cancer risk can increase as they get older. Mammograms can detect problems early on and lead to more effective treatment. This is especially important if you have a family history of breast cancer.

·         Colorectal Cancer
Both men and women should have colorectal screenings done. Frequency will depend on the individual, but testing can support early detection and treatment of both colon and rectal cancers as well as polyps.

·         Osteoporosis
As you age, your bones can become more fragile as bone density decreases. Strong bones are important to reduce the risk of fractures and promote healing should an injury occur. General recommendations are to start testing at age 65, but you may get screenings even earlier if you have other factors that increase your risk of osteoporosis.

Other tests that seniors may want to consider include memory, depression, diabetes, prostate cancers, and cervical cancer. In addition, vaccinations against the flu and pneumonia can support better health as well. Talk to your doctor about what screenings you should be receiving and how often.

An in-home caregiver can help you stay on top of scheduling and attending appointments, taking medication, and increasing safety and wellbeing. They can alert family members to any changes they notice or concerns they may have. To learn more about the benefits of senior care, contact Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville online or by calling (828) 989-7263. Your health and safety should be a top priority.

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