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Health Care Recommendations in Your 70s and Older

by Alicia Lam Taracido

 

Healthcare Recommendations in YOur 70s and Older The risk for a number of medical conditions increases with age. In fact, some studies show that the average person 75 years of age has three chronic medical problems—ranging from minor to serious. If you have concerns or questions about your health, talk to your health care provider. You may find it helpful to have a trusted family member or friend accompany you to your medical appointments.

One of the most important ways to stay healthy in your 70s and beyond is to seek the care of a geriatric physician, also called a geriatrician. Geriatric physicians are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and disability in older adults. They are specially-trained in the aging process and provide comprehensive health care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicators that can be used to help assess health in older adults have been identified. These indicators are related to health status, health behaviors and compliance with preventative care recommendations and include the following:

  • Number of physically unhealthy days reported per month (due to illness or injury)
  • Frequent mental distress (depression, stress, anxiety or emotional problems reported on 14 or more days per month)
  • Complete loss of natural teeth
  • Current smoking status (smoker or non-smoker)
  • Lack of leisure time/physical activity
  • Regularly eating fewer than 5 fruits and vegetables per day
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or greater)
  • Reported disability (physical, mental or emotional) that limits activity or requires special equipment ( cane, walker, wheelchair, hearing-impaired telephone)
  • Hip fracture
  • Receiving a yearly flu vaccine
  • Following routine health care / screening procedure recommendations (cancer, high cholesterol)

The Hartford AARP

General health care recommendations in your 70s and older include the following:

  • Blood pressure screening  — every 2 years or as recommended
  • Bone mineral density test—as recommended to screen for osteoporosis (bone loss)
  • Cholesterol screening —every 5 years or as recommended
  • Colorectal cancer screening—as recommended
  • Dental exam—every 6 months or as recommended
  • Diabetes screening —every 3 years or as recommended
  • Eye exam —every 1 – 2 years or as recommended by an ophthalmologist
  • Hearing test —yearly or as recommended
  • Immunizations—yearly flu vaccine, herpes zoster vaccine (to prevent shingles; if not previously vaccinated), pneumonia vaccine (as recommended, if not previously vaccinated), tetanus (every 10 years)
  • Mammogram (women)—as recommended by your health care provider
  • Pelvic exam (women)—yearly or as recommended
  • Pap test (women)—as recommended by your health care provider (Most women over the age of 65 usually do not need this test.)
  • Prostate cancer screening (men)—as recommended by your health care provider
  • Thyroid test (TSH)—as recommended by your health care provider

 

Screening Test Items   View All Screening Test Items:   Urine,   Glucose,   Alcohol,   Cholesterol,   Vision,   Spore Testing  and Hearing.

 

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