Health and Longevity after 60- Part 4: Attentive Medicine

Health and Longevity after 60- Part 4: Attentive Medicine

There is quite a bit of conventional wisdom that anyone who is over the age of 60 should practice a health DREAMS lifestyle is they want to live a long and healthy life. DREAMS is an acronym for Diet, Rest, Exercise, Medical Attention And Social Interaction. 

Today we'll focus on Attentive Medicine.

The Importance of Preventive Care for Seniors

Seniors should get checked up by a doctor often since early detection and treatment of health problems is crucial. If you go in for your annual physical with your primary care physician, he or she will run a battery of tests and screenings to see how you stack up health-wise. If you have a medical condition that requires close monitoring, you may need to see your doctor more often than once a year.

However, it is recommended that all seniors see their doctor annually for a checkup to make sure they are healthy. Your annual checkup may be something you believe you can put off, but putting it off could end up costing you. The onset of many potentially fatal illnesses in the elderly often occurs with no warning signs at all. The only way to detect these conditions early is to get screened for them at each annual checkup with your doctor.

Consistent examinations are crucial for the elderly

As you enter your senior years, you'll need to take a battery of exams.

Your doctor will be better able to diagnose any long-term or short-term health problems you may be experiencing if these tests are part of your routine visit. Setting up a yearly checkup with your doctor will allow you to monitor any changes or declines in your health jointly. At your yearly checkup, your doctor will conduct a battery of diagnostic procedures and compare the results to those from past exams.

Common tests for the elderly may include:

  • Blood pressure screenings

  • Height measurement
  • Weight measurement
  • Blood work to test for cholesterol and other various ailments
  • EKG to screen and monitor your heart health
  • Fecal occult blood tests
  • Colonoscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopy

Depending on your medical history, present risk factors, and inherited health concerns, your doctor may recommend additional diagnostic tests. Your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your health every year to establish a baseline for future evaluations and to identify any risk factors that may require ongoing follow-up.

Why You Should See Your Doctor Routinely

It doesn't take long for seniors to experience a wide range of health problems. Hearing and vision impairments, for example, often worsen over the period of several months. Setting up routine checks with your doctor might help spot these problems before they worsen. Conducting routine screening can bolster this notion, even if you believe you are healthy and do not feel like you are suffering from any medical difficulties. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle into old age is something your doctor may advise you on.

A frequent medical checkup can help you and your doctor get closer, which is beneficial for your health and for building a trusting relationship. Regular checkups will make it simpler to broach sensitive health topics with your doctor if and when they arise. If you and your doctor have established a trusting connection over time, you may feel more at ease discussing sensitive health topics like heart disease or dementia. If you and your doctor have established a trusting relationship, you will feel more at ease sharing any concerns you have.

Having a regular doctor's appointment to talk about how you're feeling health-wise can be helpful, too. In order to keep up a healthy lifestyle, it is important to keep tabs on your vitals such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and other indicators. If you believe you do not need a regular medical examination, you may forego it and miss out on important information, such as whether or not a change in your cholesterol levels indicates a need to alter your diet.

Getting annual checkups has many other advantages

There are several advantages to scheduling annual checkups with your primary care physician, beyond just keeping tabs on your health status. The current medications you are taking and any adverse side effects you may be experiencing can be discussed with your doctor during a normal checkup. Your doctor will be able to tell if a medicine is helping or if it's still necessary to address the original condition by looking at the history of all the medications you're taking every year. The doctor may decide to discontinue your prescription if your health has improved since your last checkup.

Regular checks with your doctor can help ensure that you don't spend any longer than necessary on any one medicine. If you want to know if you need any immunizations in the following year, it's a good idea to schedule a checkup with your doctor. If you schedule your vaccinations before the beginning of the year, you won't have to make repeated journeys to the clinic at different times of the year. When you go in for your routine exam, the doctor will be able to tell you exactly which vaccinations you need and provide them to you right there on the spot. An ordinary medical checkup is a good opportunity to get further tests performed.

An annual checkup with your doctor will help you stay on top of any health issues that may arise and detect any changes in your condition early. Having regular checkups is especially important for people with chronic conditions like diabetes who need to keep close tabs on their blood sugar levels. If you or a loved one is struggling with mental or behavioral health, bring it up with your doctor at your next appointment. A medical checkup with your doctor is required since it will test and maintain track of any progress you have in your general health, whether it be physically or emotionally.