Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Dr. Neeraj Gujar
Do you care for the elderly at home? Are you unsure how to care for them better? Do you believe they don’t have any need because they don’t ask? Well, think again when it comes to their health. We’ve got answers to all the major medical tests the elderly should get checked for regularly.
You can identify their unmet medical needs and take action to help them. This applies to almost all aspects of their lives, whether they are involved in daily activities or more formal engagements. This is especially true when it comes down to their health. Your elderly won’t reach out to you for a health screening or to consult a doctor until it becomes very upsetting. This shouldn’t be the situation. Here’s what you can do. Here’s a tip. Just be proactive, anticipate their needs and take initiative. Do what you have to do before anything starts to bother them.
Here is a list of medical tests for your elderly to stay healthy and fine.
Bone Density Check
As we age, our bones lose important minerals such as phosphate and calcium. This causes joints, bones, and muscles to become weaker. It can also affect your strength, movement, and posture. To assess the bone health of your senior citizens, schedule a bone density scan. Vitamin D is also important for your body to absorb calcium more efficiently and maintains your muscle movement. It is important to monitor your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
As we age, our chances of developing diabetes increase. Diabetes is simply defined as having a higher-than-normal level of sugar (glucose). Did you know that India already has 72 million diabetes sufferers? This is an issue that both older people and younger people need to be aware of. High sugar levels can affect almost every organ of the body, including the heart, kidneys, and brain. Uncontrolled diabetes is also a major risk factor for developing heart disease.
Every 3-6 months, have your senior loved ones’ blood sugar checked. If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes or is currently taking medication, continue to monitor their health by performing HbA1c testing at the frequency recommended by your doctor. The HbA1c medical test determines the average blood sugar over the last two to three months. It also provides recommendations on lifestyle and treatment options.
Also Read: What is a Fasting Before Sugar (FBS) Test Result and What Does it Mean?
High Blood Pressure
You’ve probably heard that high blood pressure (BP) is something people can detect from the symptoms. Yet, it is often not apparent and is known as a silent killer by medical professionals. Don’t wait for your doctor to blame high BP for your morning headache. Instead, have them check their BP during a routine health checkup. A home blood pressure monitor can also be used to help you do this. This is particularly important for those who are obese, diabetic, or have any other heart-related conditions.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that your liver naturally produces. It is essential for maintaining healthy cells in your body. Yet, an excess of cholesterol can lead to blood vessel clogging and blockage, which can result in a reduction in blood flow. High cholesterol is a risk factor for stroke and heart attack. You should therefore keep an eye on cholesterol parameters, and seek expert advice if necessary.
Also Read: Should you get a Lipid Profile Test? Answers to your Why
PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) Test
This medical test – PSA testing is a screening tool that detects prostate cancer. According to age-specific studies, prostate cancer risk increases sharply after the age of 55, peaking at 70-74 and decreasing slightly thereafter.
Screening For Cervical Cancer and Breast Cancer
Although breast cancer is common in young women, more than half of those diagnosed with it are older women. More than a fifth of these cases are women over 70. The risk of developing cancer goes up with age. A mammogram and self-examination can be used to detect breast cancer early and provide the best treatment. The medical experts are not clear on the frequency of breast cancer screening. The American Cancer Society recommends that women start having annual mammograms at 45 and then switch to every 2 years for those 55 and older. However, The Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening once a year for those 50 years and older, and no more for those over 75. Check with your doctor if you are under 50 to determine if you need screening.
Cervical cancer refers to a form of cancer that affects the lower portion of the uterus, which connects with the vagina (called the cervix). The HPV and Pap tests are both useful in screening for cervical cancer. The Pap test checks for cell changes in the cervical area, while the HPV test is used to check for viruses (human papillomaviruses) that could cause these cell changes.
To sum it up, you should schedule routine medical tests and regular health checks for your elderly loved one. However, that’s not enough. Also. encourage them to eat well, quit smoking, and keep fit. And finally, spend time with your loved ones to make them feel loved.