The Need for Preventive Health Check ups for the Elderly


Who classifies people aged between 60-74 as elderly and over 75 as old. People of this age group have high chances of developing diseases. According to WHO ‘health is state of complete physical, social and mental well being and not merely absence of disease’. Even if you are hale and hearty still, you are advised to go for a general checkup in order to prevent any diseases. Prevention is better than cure – this phase is especially necessary for elderly people. Preventive health care is an important factor in avoiding or slowing the progression of the disease can give you a better life.

Health Check Ups for the Elderly

As growing age, it is important to keep a check on their health, which is not limited to physical health, but also functional, cognitive and emotional health. With preventive checkups, one can spot risk factors for certain diseases and early precautions could be taken and can be rectified. Preventive health care programs are important as medical there has been an increase in the cost of medical treatment. With proper health care packages, one can manage according to the financial conditions. Elderly people have poor life expectancies, so, with health checkup packages, they can check their health and can work upon them.

Physical Health:

Elderly people are at risk of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, diabetes and stroke. A timely examination of diseases can be a saviour. There is a certain routine test in elderly. These include-

  • Blood pressure ( BP)- Regular monitoring of blood pressure is important. High blood pressure can cause heart attacks, brain strokes.
  • DIABETES –  high blood sugar can cause diabetic retinopathy which can affect retina of the eye, diabetic nephropathy which can affect kidneys, diabetes effect on nerves which can cause sensation loss, diabetic foot and so on. Fasting and PP sugar monitoring are advised.
  • Vision and hearing test
  • Dental examination.
  • Cancer screening like prostate, cervical, colon cancer and breast cancer.
  • Influenza or pneumonia – these are a common cause of death in elderly. Elder people are unable to fight them. Preventive health care camps can get flu shots for elderly or pneumonia vaccination.
  • COPD – people with chronic bronchitis or asthma can worsen up and due to the old age, these problems can worsen up.
  • Routine urine test
  • Lipid profile check- high cholesterol levels or high triglycerides can cause problems like high blood pressure, which could cause heart attacks and brain strokes.

Related Read: 8 Rules to Follow for a Healthier and Fitter Life

Elderly Female Test:

  • PAP SMEAR –  to check precancerous or cancerous condition of the cervix.
  • MAMMOGRAPHY- to rule out any breast tumours.

Functional Health:

Elderly people are more concerned about functional independence. It is important to check their functional abilities. It is important to check for osteoarthritis for knee and hip. One should also go for spondylitis check. One should also check for bone strength and balance. Go for following-

  • Bone mineral density test – ( BMD)
  • Serum calcium
  • Dexa scan

Low levels of calcium and vitamin D3 can increase the risk of fractures. Due to the balance problems, there could be chances of fall. This can cause fractures, tendons injuries, and ligament injuries. Fall is a very common and serious problem amongst elderly.

One should also check for urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is the common problem for the elderly people. This can occur due to urinary tract infection, vaginal infection, and constipation.

Cognitive and Emotional Health:

Various cognitive impairments could be due to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and so on. Elderly people are emotionally weak due to lack of mobility or cognitive problems. Regular screening of cognitive and emotional health can prevent any cognitive dysfunction. Obesity is also a risk factor in elderly. Obesity is also associated with urinary incontinence in females and psychosocial factors like loneliness, isolation, and depression. There has to be proper examination with the help of psychoanalyst and physical therapist.

Regular health checkups are necessary for all age groups, particularly in old age group. Various companies organize regular health checkups programs. Various free health checkup camps are organized by hospitals and nursing homes. They provide various tests like bone mineral density test, Bp check, sugar check along with consultation with various doctors. There are health checkup packages for elderly in various labs. They provide with the necessary tests and consultation with relevant doctors, Physical therapist, and dietician. Information is easily available on internets, newspapers, radio, and television and so on.

With little awareness, an elderly person can lead their life hale and hearty. It is better to take precautions and stay a healthy life.

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