Like Mother’s Day (10th May) and Friendship’s Day (4th August), Senior Citizen Day is celebrated on 21st August. It was initially started with ending social issues like hunger and poverty among the elderly. Gradually it has become a day to commemorate the aged population, to spread the awareness that youth does not die as one age.
Regular health checkups are a necessity for all age groups, but as one age, it becomes more critical to stay robust. It acts as a buffer against various types of illnesses and disorders, both physical and mental. Different types of diagnostic tests to check:
- Blood pressure – A screening to keep the blood pressure in check is needed to protect the essential organs like heart, brain, arteries, eyes, and kidneys.
- Cholesterol (and other blood lipids) – Measuring the total level of cholesterol, both good (high-density lipoprotein) and bad (low-density lipoprotein) to curb heart attacks and strokes through cholesterol screening.
- Arthritis – A bone density test is significant to preserve the ability of people to do any physical activity.
- Eye disorders – Eye illnesses like macular degeneration and glaucoma needs to be checked through eye screening tests to preserve eyesight.
- Hearing loss – A hearing test is a must for people who are having trouble hearing, which is a common problem after 64 years of age.
These are a part of risk factor management which prevents as well as keep under control or treat an existing illness among the geriatric population. Regular checkups are a must as they help in detecting a severe condition (like breast cancer among women) at an early stage, which saves both money and body discomfort and pain. The most frequent tests that are done and should be done by men are:
- Prostate Cancer Screening – this helps to measure prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level that becomes alarming for men in ages 70 and above.
- Aneurysm – Men who fall between the age range of 65-75 should go through an abdominal aortic aneurysm, especially who smoked.
Like men, there are specific vital tests that need to be carried out by women as well. They are:
- Mammogram – With age, it becomes increasingly important to get a mammogram to check for any signs of breast cancer, which is common among women starting at the age of 40-50.
- Pelvic exam, cervical screening, and pap smear test – Like breast cancer, women are also prone to cervical and pelvic cancer. They are recommended to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) test that can detect a host or any early signs of concern.
Regular checkups not only help us to detect an already existing medical condition, but also assess risk factors that might turn into a severe illness. It prompts the elderly to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A healthy body builds a healthy mind, which helps in enhancing positivity, where underlying research has proved that being positive and happy increases longevity. Maintaining a proper diet and an hour of exercise can help in buffering a lot of coronary diseases.
With growing levels of stress, people can often become prone to various heart problems, which only gets worse with an increase in age. Hence, it becomes imperative to include tests like an electrocardiogram, blood tests, and blood pressure in the health checkup. Another common issue the old face, especially after 45 years of age, is diabetes and osteoporosis. Thus, a bone density test becomes significant.
The key to a regular checkup is not to let the geriatric population feel old. Studies have shown that depression rises with an increase in age, where most of those cases are caused due to health problems.
Thus, with a regular checkup, the aged are not only keeping themselves physically fit but also mentally. When they are free from pain, it becomes easier for them to be independent and be healthy and rejuvenated.