As we get older, it becomes even more important to take care of ourselves. To do this, we should get more regular tests and screenings for certain conditions. This can help you to monitor any changes in your health and be proactive about them to keep healthy for longer. Here are the health tests all seniors should have.
Blood pressure checks. Many adults have elevated blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension. As we get older, the risk of high blood pressure gets higher. Hypertension can cause a stroke or heart attack, so you must have your blood pressure checked once a year as one of your regular health checks.
- Blood tests for lipids. If you have healthy levels of triglyceride and cholesterol, then you have a decreased risk of heart attack and stroke. High levels of these increase your risk, so you should have this checked. If you do find your levels are high, you can make changes to your diet and lifestyle to help.
- Hearing tests. Losing your hearing can be a regular part of aging, and can be caused by infections or other medical conditions, or just the aging process. You should have a hearing test every two to three years, and if you do find your hearing is going, you can learn more about treatment options to help.
- Bone density scan. Both men and women are at risk of osteoporosis, although it is more common in women. Bone scans should be started at the age of 65, so your bone mass can be measured to show your bone strength.
- Vitamin D test. A surprising amount of people suffer from a deficiency of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps to protect your bones, so is very important for older people. It can also help to defend against diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. Your levels should be tested every year, as your body finds it harder to synthesize vitamin D as you get older.
- Skin check. If you notice any new or suspicious moles, you should get them checked promptly, especially if you’ve been a sun worshipper in your youth. These moles can be a sign of skin cancer, which is far easier to treat if caught early. If you’re worried, you can have a full-body check with a dermatologist once a year.
- Diabetes test. Lots of older people have type 2 diabetes, which can cause all kinds of health problems. Get a screening regularly, starting at age 45. Screenings are usually done with a blood sugar test. The earlier you find you have Diabetes, the more you can do to control it without letting it impact your quality of life.
- Periodontal exam. Oral health is important at any age, but especially for older people. Many common medications taken by the elderly can cause dental health problems, including diuretics, antidepressants, and antihistamines. Dental issues could lead to you losing your teeth. Get a periodontal exam once a year, alongside your twice-yearly check-ups.