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Healthy Senior Aging: Use Prevention to Maintain Good Health

By , 10:14 pm on

If you feel healthy now, you might think, “why do I need to go to the doctor?”  One word: prevention. Vaccinations and tests are not just for school kids.  Home Care Assistance in Lincoln is promoting healthy senior aging by helping to educate our community on the importance of illness prevention. Here’s a list of what older adults need, based on information from The U.S. Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Cancer Society, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tests

Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening

  • One ultrasound for men 65-75 yrs who smoked.

Blood pressure test

  • Checked annually for people over 65.

Cholesterol and heart screening

  • Annually for those with high cholesterol, otherwise, every 5 years.

Colonoscopy

  • Once a decade after age 50 for those of average risk. Start earlier if you’re African-American or have family history.

Dental exam

  • Annually.

Hearing test

  • Annually, if you’re older than 65.

Mamograms

  • Conduct self-exams and be checked by a physician every 1-2 years.

Osteoporosis screening (bone density test, aka DEXA scan)

  • All post-menopausal women with fractures.  All men over 65 should discuss with their doctor.

Vision exam

  • Every 2 years; more frequently if you have vision problems.

Vaccinations

Chickenpox (varicella)

  • Two doses.

Influenza

  • One dose.

Pneumococcal

  • One or two doses through age 64, one dose for older people.

Shingles (zoster)

  • One-time shot in adults 60 and older.

Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap)

  • Before you turn 65, get a one-time dose of Tdap instead of your once-a-decade tetanus booster shot.

Prevention saves you money and can make a tremendous difference in the quality of your life as you age. It also means you’re taking a proactive approach to aging and staying in control of your health to the extent possible.  When a person is active in maintaining the quality of his own life, he is often better able to overcome obstacles and approach difficulties with a “can-do” attitude.  Learn more about these and other healthy strategies in our award winning book,  Happy to 102, the Best Kept Secrets to A Long and Happy Life .