The Cottages Blog

Which Health Tests Should Your Senior Mom Be Getting Annually?

Posted by Dawn Owens on Jan 26, 2017 10:00:00 AM

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The best way to make sure your senior mom stays healthy is through preventative care. Getting certain medical tests and checkups done yearly is an easy and effective way to keep track of your senior mom’s health and monitor any health problems or possible health problems. The following medical tests and checks can be done when Mom visits her regular doctors. Depending on her specific health, her doctor may choose to order additional tests.

Blood Pressure

Get your blood pressure checked at least every two years, if not yearly. If you have a history or family history of blood pressure problems, your healthcare provider may choose to check your blood pressure more often.

Blood Sugar

The American Diabetes Association recommends that a fasting blood sugar test be done once every three years to help detect diabetes as early as possible. Early detection means learning to manage it sooner. If you already have diabetes or other conditions that affect blood sugar, you need to check your blood sugar more frequently.

Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels is one of the main reasons why people suffer heart attacks and strokes. High cholesterol can be treated with proper diet and medications. You should have your cholesterol levels measured once a year.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

It is recommended that adults start this screening at age 50 and continue getting screened until age 75. A fecal occult blood test should be done once a year, a sigmoidoscopy should be done every five years, and a colonoscopy should be done every ten years.

Hearing

A quarter of people age 65 to 74 have some sort of hearing loss. If you or someone you love seems to be having any difficulty with hearing, schedule a hearing test.

Moles

Skin cancer can take over 20 years to develop. Thankfully, most skin cancers are curable if found in time. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly skin screenings or screenings several times a year if you have certain skin types or a family history.

Osteoporosis

Depending on your history and your own personal health, your doctor may choose to refer you for a bone density test. Women should have a bone density test done at age 65.

Teeth

Having a yearly dental exam is important. Poor oral health can be an indicator of your overall health. A dentist should look at your teeth, gums, mouth, and throat regularly to make sure you are free of gum disease, which increases your risk of heart attack.

Thyroid

The American Thyroid Association recommends thyroid screening once every five years, especially in women. If you are experiencing hair loss, sudden weight gain, fatigue, or depression, it could be a sign that you have thyroid problems.

Weight

Fluctuations in weight are often one of the first signs that something is wrong. Your doctor will want to check your weight at every appointment. If your weight changes drastically for any reason, your doctor will probably order additional tests or further examination to find out the reason.

For Women

It is recommended that all women have a yearly breast exam and mammogram. A pelvic exam and pap smear are recommended every three years. If you are a women over the age of 65 who has had several negative pap smears or has had a total hysterectomy for a non-cancerous condition, your doctor may tell you that you no longer need a yearly pap test.

Vaccines

It is recommended that people over age 65 get the pneumococcal vaccine, that people over the age of 60 get the shingles vaccine, and that all adults get their annual flu shot. A one-time diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine is recommended, followed by a tetanus, diphtheria (Td) booster every ten years.

Vision

Yearly eye exams can help you manage macular degeneration, cataracts, or glaucoma as soon and as successfully as possible. Depending on your vision, your doctor may want to see you more or less often.

 

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Topics: Senior Health Care

Dawn Owens

Written by: Dawn Owens

Dawn has been part of the Cottage family for over 10 years. She comes from a strong background in mental health care, with a certification in crisis intervention. Dawn has two daughters, Alika and Ava. She enjoys walking, scrapbooking, and playing softball.