There are plenty of health tests that doctors perform to ensure their patient’s health. As you age, seniors must maintain these checks and appointments more often to keep up with any potential health risks. This is especially important because, as you age, you may become susceptible to specific diseases. When the time comes, keep this list in mind to help you navigate all the necessary health steps that all seniors should prioritize.
Make sure to look out for mental decline.
Unfortunately, aging can take a toll on the human brain. However, just because this is a commonality for seniors, that doesn’t mean you should ignore preventative practices that may help you prepare and stall any progress. One of these particular doctors that the elderly should consider if they get the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is the guidance of Alzheimer specialists. These specific healthcare providers have a vast knowledge of all things to do with Alzheimer’s disease.
You should also note that Alzheimer’s disease is different from dementia. Generally speaking, dementia is used as an umbrella term for memory loss, whereas Alzheimer’s is a specific condition that causes it. When looking for some more guidance throughout an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, you should look into The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation where both you and your caregivers in your life can go for assistance and concerns.
Be aware of various nervous system changes.
In addition to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, other neurological conditions affect the older population. Some of these include Parkinson’s disease and strokes. Unfortunately, another common problem that can occur as you age is seizures. Due to things like strokes, head injuries, and Alzheimer’s, seniors may be at risk for certain types of seizures due to previous damage to a specific part of the brain.
Since there are different types of seizures, it’s vital to get to the bottom of any seizures. This is because any seizure needs to be studied by a specialist due to its varied causes. This way, you ensure that the type of seizure isn’t caused by epilepsy, which is a long-term condition. For these reasons, it’s incredibly smart to make appointments with neurologists to maintain your neurological care and prevent seizures.
Always prioritize regular check-ups.
Another area to stay on top of for older adults is to partake in physicals with their primary care physician. The great thing about your primary health care provider is that they know your health history quite well, which is critical because they can more easily detect an abnormality in your health or normal symptoms. While these check-ups are essential for year-round preventative care, you should also stay on top of current viruses that put seniors at high risk for serious infections like influenza and coronavirus. Your family physician will help you make educated decisions and potentially help seniors receive their Covid-19 vaccination to mitigate risk factors associated with serious complications of the virus.
If the senior in your life is reluctant to take a vaccination, then it’s vital to keep these family members safe and healthy throughout the pandemic as current restrictions begin to lessen. If your loved one experiences fatigue, headache, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or fever, then it’s a smart idea to undergo Covid-19 testing to ensure they’re properly watching their health. There are plenty of test sites that you can head to for Covid testing, including some at your local pharmacies. Overall, it’s essential to keep the susceptible older population tested in the event they are infected with this virus. In turn, their health conditions will be closely monitored to prevent any poor medical outcomes that may arise from infection, like pneumonia.
Maintain proper medication protocols.
While all of these check-ups are a part of living a good quality of life, there’s one other less common type of check-in that needs to occur for the elderly too. Many geriatric patients are given prescription medications. Unfortunately, it’s a prevalent problem that older adults may abuse or misuse these prescription medications, leading to unintentional harmful side effects like physical dependence, overdose, and excessive cognitive impairment. The reality is that when the older population is given these medications, sometimes they also have memory loss, which exacerbates the potential for underuse, misuse, or overuse of their medications.
Another reality is that your loved one may continue using their medication to reach a desired level of relaxation. This is extremely common with benzodiazepines and psychoactive drugs that make the user reach a level of therapeutic comfort. For example, they might abuse these drugs to get relief from stress, pain, anxiety, or fall asleep. However, this can create a deadly combination. While this is all concerning, you should note that you should always have a pillbox to track each week’s worth of medication. Plus, you should be sure to count and keep track of your senior’s pills to make sure that they’re lasting through their designated refill schedule. If you notice something is off, then it’s time to consult with a doctor or psychiatrist for optimal help.