5 Must-Do Health Screenings for Elderly

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Routine wellness screenings are intended to catch health problems in their earliest stages before they develop into overt disease. As a leading provider of hourly and live-in care in Caledon, Home Care Assistance presents these five important health screenings for seniors.

1. Blood Pressure
The Heart & Stroke Foundation (HSF) recommends all adults have their blood pressure checked at least once a year. Older adults are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, and high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, and dementia. Caledon senior home care experts note that high blood pressure can be treated with diet, exercise, and medications once it is detected.

2. Cholesterol
Dyslipidemia refers to the presence of an abnormal profile of blood lipids. Dyslipidemia can include elevated triglycerides, elevated total cholesterol, or an abnormal ratio of HDL to LDL. The presence of dyslipidemia indicates an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is easily identified through a simple blood test and is treated through diet, exercise, and medications. The HSF recommends all adults have a blood test for dyslipidemia every 4 years.

3. Bone Density
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by progressive weakening of the bones. It most commonly affects older women, but many older men develop it as well. It can lead to bone fractures and reduced quality of life. However, it can be treated if it is accurately identified. The Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care (CTFPHC) recommends women over the age of 65 receive regular bone density tests. It is unclear if older men benefit from being screened for osteoporosis.

4. Colonoscopy
Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of death in older individuals. Colorectal cancer can be caught early, in a treatable stage, through regular colonoscopy screenings. The CTFPHC recommends all adults between the ages of 50 and 75 receive a colonoscopy every 10 years. Adults older than 75 do not seem to benefit from continued screening for colorectal cancer.

5. Vision
Glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts are common threats to vision in seniors. All three conditions can cause blindness if not treated, but all three can be treated if caught early. Seniors should have an annual eye exam that includes a test for glaucoma.

If your senior loved one has been missing health screenings or other important doctor’s appointments because of transportation or mobility issues, Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers are highly trained to assist with the above tasks, as well as grocery shopping, bathing, grooming, incontinence, medication reminders, companionship, and emotional support. In addition to hourly and live-in care, we also offer comprehensive dementia and Alzheimer’s care Caledon families trust. To learn more, call 905-951-8885 and request a free consultation with a friendly Care Manager.