The advent of new technologies in medicine has vastly improved the way we approach our health, and scheduling routine health screenings is one of the best ways to prevent many health conditions. Although it can be a challenge to keep track of all of the screenings you should schedule, doing so will go a long way. There are the general guidelines for routine screenings you should schedule as you age. (Always talk to your physician first, especially if you have existing conditions, a familial history or other risk factors). Health screenings should not replace your routine physical checkups. Visiting your doctor each year for a comprehensive physical exam, evaluation of medications and discussions about lifestyle changes is essential for your health and well-being.
The risk of breast cancer increases with age, and the American Cancer Society recommends a baseline mammogram around age 40 and an annual mammogram thereafter. If you have concerns about the frequency of mammograms, speak with your physician.
Prevention is the key to colorectal cancer, and screening could prevent at nearly 60% of all cases. Staying on top of your screening schedule is essential to early detection and treatment. A colonscopy is recommended every five years -- or more frequently if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or a personal history of polyps or ulcerative colitis.
Unmanaged diabetes vastly increases the risk of vision loss, kidney damage, and nerve damage. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar through blood tests, especially if you have risk factors such as obesity or high blood pressure.
High cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. Measured by adding together your good cholesterol score (HDL) and your bad cholesterol score (LDL), the optimal level for your total cholesterol should be less than 180 mg/dL.
High blood pressure increases your risk of heart failure and stroke. Blood pressure is a ratio with two numbers: the systolic pressure (or top number) and the diastolic pressure (bottom number). A normal blood pressure range is considered 120/80 mm/Hg. Consult your physician if your blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mm/Hg.
Brittle, weak bones due to osteoporosis increase the risk of even a minor fall causing injuries. Schedule a baseline bone mineral density test at the age of 65; your doctor may recommend that you have the baseline at an earlier age if you have risk factors such as a history of fractures, a family history of osteoporosis or medications that affect bone density.
BrightStar Care in Elgin can help!
If you or an aging loved one needs home care assistance with routine tasks such as light housekeeping and meal preparation services, BrightStar Care in Elgin can help. Our companion care assistants also provide transportation services and can accompany you to screening appointments or a doctor’s visit. A senior companion can be that extra pair of eyes and ears to listen and take notes for you. A personal care from BrightStar Care can make life easier with help for activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming, dressing and eating.
For more information about BrightStar Care in Elgin, contact us today at (630) 938-4738.