The old adage, ‘Prevention is better than cure’ stands true, especially for the elderly. With a rise in age, it becomes increasingly essential to keep a check on not just physical health but functional ability, cognitive health & emotional health as well. With timely preventive health check-ups, one can spot and address risk factors for certain diseases that might crop up with old age.
Senior citizens are at increased risk for arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases. Some of the regular screening tests that they must get routinely include:
1. Blood pressure
3. Glucose levels & type 2 diabetes
4. Thyroid hormone
5. Bone density test
6. Vision and hearing
7. Dental examination
8. Test for Hepatitis C
9. Tests for HIV & other sexually transmitted diseases
10. Cancer screening for colorectal, breast, cervical and lung cancer
As caring for the aged requires considerable financial investment, it is wise to be covered against regular doctor visits and preventive health checkups with an OPD health insurance plan, such as Day2Day Care.
One of the most important preventions against a range of age related diseases is to maintain an ideal weight. Senior citizens should keep a check on their BMI (Body Mass Index). A BMI above 25 implies being overweight while a BMI above 30 depicts obesity. Some ways to lose and maint ain one’s weight in old age are to go for regular walks and consume a diet rich in protein, grains, dairy & no more than five-six teaspoons of fats and oils a day.
Although such a thing might not immediately spring to mind when thinking of preventive health checkups for the elderly, it is necessary to assess the elderly for signs of functional impairment. Factors such as vision problems, urinary continence and osteoarthritis might expose senior citizens to the risk of falls and fractures.
Cognitive & emotional health
Challenges such as sensory decline, cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and a lack of well-being due to physical limitations and restricted activity may have a considerable impact on the life of an elderly person.
Regular screenings for mental and emotional health are as essential as other physical examinations. Cognitive testing and evaluation by a specialist can help in the early diagnosis of cognitive impairment and declining emotional well-being.
Caring for the elderly requires timely preventive checkups and the encouragement and support needed to live a healthy and satisfying life.