Annual Health Checkups: What Should Senior Women Be Screened For?

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Elderly women may be at a higher risk for certain health complications. Some conditions are specific to their gender, while others can affect both men and women but are statistically higher for women. Many of these diseases can be caught early during annual checkups and treated accordingly, making it important for your senior loved one to schedule a checkup each year. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care Caledon families trust, has put together a list of a few conditions your loved one should get screened for during her checkup.

Osteoporosis 

Women over 65 should be tested for osteoporosis each year. Approximately 80 percent of seniors living with osteoporosis are women, which puts elderly women at a higher risk of developing the disease and breaking bones. This is because women have smaller bones compared to men, and estrogen hormones decrease once a woman reaches menopause. However, if women over 50 consume adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D and exercise on a regular basis, osteoporosis can be prevented. 

Breast Cancer 

Women over 50 should have a mammogram screening at least once every 2 years. At this time, the doctor performs a clinical breast exam. Through these exams, breast cancer can be detected early on, and your loved one can receive customized treatment if necessary. During the checkup, ask the doctor to teach your loved one how to perform breast self-exams. After the age of 74, your loved one will need to consult with the doctor to determine if she should continue the mammogram screenings. 

Cervical and Vaginal Cancer

These tests will need to be performed at each annual checkup if your loved one is at a high risk of developing cervical or vaginal cancer. Risk factors for these cancers include smoking and weak immune systems. Having a Pap smear and pelvic exam can help the doctor detect precancerous conditions during the early stages, often before your loved one has any symptoms. Having these exams done can also help the doctor detect ovarian tumors, uterine fibroids, and various infections common in senior women. 

Diabetes

This disease affects senior women more than any other age group and gender, and it is also a leading cause of death among this demographic. Most seniors living with diabetes are unaware of the condition, which is why these screenings are important. Social, cultural, and economic trends are what put senior women at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Your loved one should live a healthy lifestyle to prevent diabetes. This includes eating nutritious meals, exercising on a regular basis, and avoiding stress and smoking.

If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy lifestyle, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide transportation to and from medical appointments, prepare nutritious meals, assist with exercise, and help with many other important tasks. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care Caledon seniors can rely on. For more information on our senior care services, call 905-951-8885 today.

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