Importance of Preventive Services for the elderly

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.

  1. Risk of health problems increases with age
  2. Preventing problems or early identification can ensure a longer, healthier and a better quality of life
  3. It is important to get vaccinations, screening and other preventive services:
    1. Influenza vaccine: is given to prevent flu and is to be taken every year. Deaths from influenza is common in the elderly
    2. Pneumococcal vaccine: Helps prevent pneumococcal pneumonia and life threatening complications following it
    3. 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
    4. Colorectal screening: Especially for those at risk like smokers and those with a family history
    5. 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
    6. 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.
    7. 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)
    8. Vitamin D level: If low can lead to osteoporosis, falls and fractures in the elderly.
    9. Screening of eyes: For vision, glaucoma and a fundal examination to detect age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and cataract

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