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Front Page » January 13, 2005 » Carbon senior scene » Preventive care promotes healthy aging
Published 3,387 days ago

Preventive care promotes healthy aging


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People may dislike going to the doctor. There's often a lengthy wait and a number of forms to complete, so often they avoid going at all costs.

Surely that's okay, right?

Think again � it's wise to spend the time and money on a persons health now if they want to live a long and healthy life. By visiting the doctor even when an individual is well, they can help prevent illnesses. Health tests, screenings, vaccines and checkups are all ways to prevent illnesses and disease. People should talk to their doctor to find out how often and when they need such care. His recommendations will be based on a persons age, sex, medical history and family history. Note that Medicare, the health-care insurance program for senior citizens, often covers preventive care. Some examples of preventive care and recommended screenings include the a number of things.

Here are some for men.

•Colorectal cancer.

•Prostate cancer.

•Skin and other cancers.

•Diabetes.

•Blood pressure.

•Cholesterol.

•Vision tests.

•Hearing tests.

•Tuberculosis.

•Oral health-care visits.

Here are some for women.

•Colorectal cancer.

•Breast cancer screenings with mammograms.

•Skin, ovarian, cervical and other cancers.

•Blood pressure.

•Diabetes.

•Cholesterol

•Bone-density tests for osteoporosis.

•Vision tests.

•Hearing tests.

•Tuberculosis.

•Oral health-care visits.

It's also a good idea to keep a list of all medicines and the doses a person takes for each one. That way, a person and their family will have a record of your medications.

Another important factor is vaccines. Whenever there is a flu vaccine shortage, health officials always make sure the elderly get vaccinated first. That's because influenza as well as pneumonia are among the top 10 causes of death in older adults, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is recommended that men and women get the flu vaccine yearly starting at age 50. Those over 65 should get the pneumonia vaccine yearly. Be sure tetanus vaccines are kept up to date -- get one every 10 to 15 years. Verify with a doctor how often a person should receive these immunizations based on their age.

There are also health realted behaviors.

People are what they eat. According to the CDC, nearly 40 percent of deaths in America are due to poor diet as well as smoking, physical inactivity and alcohol abuse. By exercising, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, and eating nutritious foods, seniors can live healthier lives.

Regular physical activity reduces the need for hospitalizations, doctor visits and medications. The risk of heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure as well as obesity are also lowered by exercise. If mobility is an issue, try low-impact exercises like swimming or even lifting light free weights at home.

For proper nutrition, maintain a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fruits and vegetables to reduce your risk of stroke and other diseases.

Falls are another major factor in the aging population.

Falls are the leading cause of injuries, hospital admissions for trauma and deaths from injury in older adults, according to the CDC. But falls and related injuries can be prevented. Strategies include doing strength, balance and flexibility exercises; modifying homes with better lighting and grab bars; and ensuring that medicines don't affect your equilibrium.

By practicing such preventive behaviors now, most people can be sure to live a more healthy, productive and active lifestyle in the years to come.



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