April 09, 2019
The screening and preventive health care services significantly increase the life expectancy of adults. The following screening tests detect potential health disorders or diseases in people.
- Risk of health problems increases with age
- Preventing problems or early identification can ensure a longer, healthier and a better quality of life
- It is important to get vaccinations, screening and other preventive services:
- Influenza vaccine: is given to prevent flu and is to be taken every year. Deaths from influenza is common in the elderly
- Pneumococcal vaccine: Helps prevent pneumococcal pneumonia and life threatening complications following it
- Breast cancer screening: The incidence of breast cancer increases with age. All women after 40 years should have an annual mammogram with an ultrasound for the breast. Hence for the elderly this is a must
- Colorectal screening: Especially for those at risk like smokers and those with a family history
- Diabetes and hypertension screening: The risk of these diseases increases with age and it is important to get screened annually even if one does not have symptoms
- Osteoporosis screening: The risk of osteoporosis increases with age. It is commoner in women and a simple test called bone mass or bone density helps to diagnose it.
- Screening for prostate cancer: The incidence rises with age in men. The disease can be diagnosed by a blood test for prostate specific antigen (PSA)
- Vitamin D level: If low can lead to osteoporosis, falls and fractures in the elderly.
- Screening of eyes: For vision, glaucoma and a fundal examination to detect age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and cataract