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Health Screenings You Need as a Senior
The month of October welcomes the seasonal changes of fall, Halloween and most importantly, Breast Cancer Awareness month. States across the nation host breast cancer walks and other fundraisers that not only serve to increase awareness but also to encourage donations towards the prevention of breast cancer. Thanks to these efforts, breast cancer awareness has increased over the years. Many lives have been saved because women of all ages are learning the importance of receiving regular mammograms to detect the disease early on.
As men and women alike grow older, there are other health screenings that become important for seniors to have. Some of these tests are well known but some may not be. This is a compiled list of screenings as well as immunizations that seniors need in order to maintain good health with age based on recommendations from the National Institute of Aging and the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.
Health screenings for both men and women age 50 and older:
Blood pressure and cholesterol levels should be tested regularly.
Diabetes tests should be administered for those who have high blood pressure.
Colorectal cancer screenings are important, especially if cancer runs in the family.
Vision tests help detect diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
Hearing screenings can be important to determine whether seniors need aids.
Depression evaluations are also important as seniors experience important life changes that come with age, such as the loss of a spouse.
Vaccinations such as the flu shot can be life saving for older adults. Other vaccinations to discuss with health care providers include pneumonia, tetanus, shingles and whooping cough.
Health screenings for senior women according to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center:
Mammograms should be ordered for women 50 and older every 1-3 years.
Cervical cancer testing should be administered every 3 years in women between the ages of 50-65.
Osteoporosis screenings for women 65 and over are important to detect bone strength. If osteoporosis runs in the family, these tests should begin at age 60.
Health screenings for senior men:
Abdominal aortic aneurism testing should be administered to men between 65-75 years old who smoke. This includes smokers who have quit by this age. This is a one-time test that can be a lifesaver for those who are positively diagnosed with this condition.
Regular visits to health care providers is key in determining how often the above screenings should be administered. While most average about once a year, some screenings are required more often and maybe less often depending on individual stages of health.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (2010). Screening tests: which one do i need? Retrieved on September 20, 2012 from bidmc.org/YourHealth/
HealthNotes/ScreeningTestsYouNeed/ForSeniors/ScreeningTestsWhichOnesDoINeed.aspx.Porter, Donica M.D. (2010). Your hearing is your lifeline to the world. Retrieved on September 20, 2012 from bidmc.org/YourHealth/HealthNotes/
ScreeningTestsYouNeed/ForSeniors/YourHearingIsYourLifelinetotheWorld.aspx.Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (2010). Over 65? get your vision checked. Retrieved on September 20, 2012 from bidmc.org/YourHealth/