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Annual Health Checkups: A Quick Checklist for Seniors

By Carol White, 9:00 am on

An annual health checkup is an important part of staying healthy because it allows seniors to prevent health conditions or seek treatment before existing conditions worsen. Most physicians have a standard set of things they monitor during these annual visits, but it is always important to be as thorough as possible. When going to an annual health checkup, seniors should make sure they discuss these things with their doctors.

Basic Measurements

During the checkup, the doctor should check your senior loved one’s blood pressure, height, and weight. Getting these measurements each year is important because it establishes a baseline for your loved one’s health. Any sudden changes in weight could signal your loved one has diabetes or cancer, and a drop in height is a sign he or she might have osteoporosis.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality non-medical home care. Prescott families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Routine Blood Tests

For most seniors, an annual checkup may be a good time to get routine blood work done. Blood tests require drawing a small sample of blood, and they can help the doctor diagnose serious conditions before more dangerous symptoms develop. Blood work typically includes tests that check for diabetes, thyroid disorders, kidney conditions, heart conditions, high cholesterol, and prostate cancer. 

Vaccinations

An annual checkup is a good time to make sure your loved one’s vaccinations are up to date. Annual pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations can protect against pneumonia and the flu respectively. Seniors typically need vaccinations each year because the virus strains that cause these lung conditions change regularly. Seniors can also benefit from getting a shingles booster shot every five years and a diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis booster shot every ten years.

Getting regular vaccinations is one of the many ways seniors can stave off several medical conditions. Professional caregivers can also help seniors reduce their risk of developing age-related health issues. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Phoenix respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.  

Medication Reviews

At an annual checkup, discuss all the medications your loved one is taking. Make a list of every medication, supplement, and vitamin your loved one takes, including over-the-counter meds. The doctor can make sure your loved one is not taking anything that might have harmful side effects or interactions with other items on the list. If any of the medications are causing side effects, your loved one can discuss possible alternatives with the doctor. 

Additional Screening Tests

In addition to the basic checkups, it is often recommended that people over the age of 65 get some additional screening tests done each year. A chest x-ray monitors the condition of the lungs, and a fecal occult blood test checks for colorectal cancer. Men need prostate exams, and women need mammograms and pap smears.

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help managing medications, attending doctor’s appointments, or performing daily activities. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Prescott Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at 928-771-0105 today.

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