These health tests are a must for your seniors

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The prevalence of several diseases increases with age. Therefore, it is important to perform several preventive medical examinations.

Although absence makes the heart more beautiful, this proverb is seldom credited with health. As a collective, our society is rooted in focusing on the task we have, and in planning for the future, we look to prepare for the worst, rather than prevent it. An active lifestyle and a proper diet are crucial to prevent disease, especially in the elderly. With regular medical check-ups, the elderly can overcome all upcoming illnesses and prepare for a healthier and longer life.

Here are some simple health tests that should be taken by people over 60 years of age. It is important to consider any co-morbidities and consult your GP for other tests:

1. Chest X-ray and ECG

Covid-19 stressed more than ever the need for such tests. A chest x-ray is a radiological test that gives a picture of the chest and other internal organs. Problems in the lungs, heart, bones or aorta can be easily detected with this test. Conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, cancer, asthma, heart failure, cysts, tumors and fractures can be detected early and help prevent further damage.

An ECG is an electrocardiogram test that usually detects problems with monitoring the electrical activity generated by the heart. These tests are recommended for those who smoke, are overweight, have high blood pressure, have chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or belong to a family with a history of heart disease.

2. KFT and LFT

Kidney function tests (KFT) and liver function tests (LFT) help identify kidney or liver problems. Your doctor may advise you to have blood and urine tests also check the condition of the kidneys and life. KFT is recommended if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, which can affect the kidneys. With age, it is imperative to check for any kidney or liver problems before the damage is irreparable.

Want to enjoy morning walks with your aging parents again? Check with your elderly parents regularly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Vitamin and calcium tests

Vitamin B12 means a good nutritional levelwhile vitamin D helps absorb calcium and thus keeps bones strong. With age, the ability to absorb vitamins B12 and D decreases and can cause a variety of health problems such as neuropathy, anemia, osteoporosis, cognitive impairment, memory problems, and difficulty walking and general movement. Therefore, it is important that you get tested regularly to maintain adequate levels of both vitamins.

Calcium plays a key role in the smooth functioning of cells, especially for the development of strong teeth and bones, facilitates muscle contraction and blood clotting. If the elderly experience symptoms such as bone disease, kidney or liver disease, or low vitamin D levels, they should undergo a serum calcium test. Weak bones can also cause fractures and permanent disability. Therefore, it is recommended that you undergo a DEXA examination at age 65 to identify serious bone problems such as osteoporosis.

4. Blood tests

The complete blood count (CBC) test counts red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the body. It determines if a person has anemia, monitors blood status or checks the response to medication in patients receiving chemotherapy. In addition, due to the development of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, a person may become susceptible to high blood cholesterol levels. A lipid profile test can be performed to check blood cholesterol levels.

medical examinations of senior citizens
Get your parents tested regularly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Tests such as X-rays, pathology, ECG and radiology can also be performed at home, making medical examinations more accessible and convenient for the elderly. The right types of services and treatments at the right time can give you proper insight into the disease and help you take preventative measures against it.

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