Seniors can experience different medical issues as they age. While eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise are essential to maintaining health, aging women may still develop certain health conditions. Here are a few exams senior women should make sure to get during their annual checkups.
1. Bone Density Measurement
Thin or porous bones are likely to fracture from a fall or from simply bearing weight. When a woman reaches the age of 65, she should undergo a bone mineral density test, which determines her risk of developing osteoporosis. If the test results reveal fragile and unhealthy bones, older women may need additional supplements or prescription medications to prevent osteoporosis.
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2. Breast Cancer Screening
Physicians recommend breast cancer screening for women every two years until they reach the age of 74. If a woman has no family history of cancer or has never been diagnosed with cancer, further assessments may not be needed. Senior women should consult with their physicians to determine what course of action best fits their circumstances.
3. Blood Pressure Monitoring
Without undergoing regular checkups, senior women may not realize they have hypertension. If left untreated, the condition could lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and visual impairment. Women with blood pressure readings of 120/80 or lower should have their pressure rechecked every two years. If blood pressure is above this level, they should have it monitored as frequently as recommended by a physician.
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4. Cervical Cancer Screening
Physicians recommend women receive Pap tests and HPV tests every five years until the age of 65. If a woman has no family history of cancer, she may no longer need testing after reaching the age of 64. However, women should discuss the need for further testing with their physicians.
5. Colorectal Cancer Testing
After turning 50, women need to undergo regular screenings for colorectal cancer until they reach the age of 75. Physicians determine how often the testing is needed and what type of screening suits an older woman’s individual situation.
6. Diabetes Screening
As women get older, their risk of developing diabetes increases. Family history, being overweight, and having high blood pressure are all risk factors for developing insulin intolerance and diabetes. Depending on a senior woman’s risk factors, she may need routine blood tests to evaluate cholesterol levels. High LDL cholesterol levels also put women at risk for developing diabetes.
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