PREVENTATIVE MEASURES: Screenings to consider in twilight years by Rene’ Leister, LOL co-publisher

I’m only a senior when it benefits me—like in getting discounts or free stuff because I am over a certain age. I hate going to the doctor—any doctor for any reason. But I am also aware in order to live a healthy and happy life, I can’t take advantage of some of the perks of making it to seniorhood unless I converse with my doctor about appropriate medical tests. This article in no way applies to everyone. We all have our own special set of health parameters. I found the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USTSPF) are using a few pointers to help remind us to take care of the body we have:
Blood pressure: Have it checked by a physician every two years as recommended if it’s normal. If it’s not normal, a physician may require more frequent checks.
Weight: Yes, most of us gain weight in our “twilight” years. Weigh yourself at least once a month to make sure you are maintaining a healthy weight. Be aware of any sudden changes in your weight (up or down) and discuss with your physician.
Colorectal cancer screening: It is recommended to have tests starting at age 50: fecal occult blood testing (each year), sigmoidoscopy (every five years), paired with fecal occult blood testing (every three years), colonoscopy (every 10 years).
Prostate cancer screening: Part of a yearly physical exam.
Breast health: Annual mammogram and doctor exam every one to two years, starting at age 40.
Pelvic exam and pap smear: Women over 60 should have a pelvic exam and pap smear every three years.
Eye health: Allow the eye doctor to determine how often to visit.
Ear health: At least 25 percent of people age 65 to 74 have disabling hearing loss, most of which is treatable. That number increases to 50 percent after the age of 74. Notice hearing issues? Time to get tested.
Bones: Most women should have a bone density scan at age 65.
Cholesterol screening: High cholesterol may need more frequent checks. Most doctors recommend a yearly test if normal.
Vaccinations: People older than 65 should get a pneumococcal vaccine to protect against pneumonia. The CDC recommends the shingles vaccine for those over 60 as well. Almost all adults should consider an annual flu shot. A one-time diphtheria tetanus booster that has pertussis vaccine (whooping cough) in it is recommended, followed by diphtheria/tetanus booster every 10 years.
Aneurysm: The USPSTF recommends one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) by ultrasound in men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked.
Blood sugar: The American Diabetes Association recommends a fasting blood sugar test every three years to catch diabetes early and manage it.
Thyroid hormone test: Every five years.
Skin test: The American Cancer Society recommends regular screening to look for moles or other growths.
Dental exam: Most dentists recommend a yearly exam.