Your dad is about to turn 70. Is his doctor likely to recommend any new tests or health screenings? What should you be considering when it comes time to arrange his yearly check-up?
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
This isn’t a test that every doctor will recommend, but your dad should ask about it if he was or is a smoker. It’s an ultrasound that’s used to look for signs of problems with the abdomen’s aorta. If there’s a problem or signs of a pending aneurysm, your dad can have it treated before it becomes dangerous.
Your dad should be getting his blood pressure checked each year. Ideally, he should check it at home when he’s comfortable and relaxed and keep track of those readings for his doctor.
As he is likely to be nervous or anxious at the doctor’s office, his blood pressure reading may be higher there. Ask if it’s possible to have his blood pressure taken right before he leaves when the blood draws and other stressful tests are over.
Every five years, your dad needs to have blood drawn for a cholesterol check. His doctor may recommend it more often if he’s at risk of heart disease.
Colorectal Cancer Screening
A fecal occult blood test is one of the first tests used to screen for colorectal cancer. It’s a swab test that looks for signs of blood in the stool. His doctor may recommend a fecal immunochemical test instead.
Every five years, your dad’s doctor may recommend he undergoes a virtual colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy to look for signs of growths that can lead to colorectal cancer. A full colonoscopy is advised every 10 years. A family history of colorectal cancer may change the frequency at which these tests are offered.
Your dad needs to see his eye doctor each year to screen for some of the common eye diseases. During this exam, your dad’s doctor will look for signs of cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. The earlier they’re diagnosed, the better it is for your dad’s vision.
Your dad’s doctor will go over his immunization records and make sure they’re up-to-date. If he hasn’t had the shingles vaccine yet, it’s one he needs. A TDAP booster is given every 10 years. Your dad should have the flu shot each year.
Lung Cancer Screening
If your dad is a smoker or has quit recently, his doctor may want him to undergo a lung cancer screening. If caught early, lung cancer treatments are effective.
Finally, osteoporosis is not just a condition women face. Many doctors realize the importance of screening older men for bone density, too. Talk to his doctor about bone mineral density testing.
Make sure your dad sees his doctor each year and arranges all of the recommended tests. If you can’t drive him or help him schedule and get to his appointments, hire senior care aides. They can drive him to appointments and help him schedule follow-up appointments. Call a senior care specialist to discuss caregiver services.
If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Brooklyn Park, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.