Preventive Care for Seniors

What are preventive services?

Your physician provides preventive services to help you avoid health problems or to identify them early. In many cases, problems are detected early are more likely to respond to treatment. Preventive services include screenings, immunizations and health tips. Your doctor will recommend the services are appropriate for you based on your age, sex and medical and family history.

 Why are preventive services important to older adults?

Preventive services are important to everyone, especially for older adults. This is because the risks of health problems increase as people age. To prevent or identify problems in their early stages, is more likely to live a longer and healthier life.

Many older adults do not receive vaccines, screenings and other preventive services that experts recommend. The following preventive services are especially important for older adults:

  • Influenza vaccine: This vaccine helps prevent annual influenza (flu). Older adults should receive this vaccine every year. About 85% of deaths from influenza occur in people 65 years or more.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine: Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) helps prevent pneumonia. People who have pneumonia helps prevent complications that are life-threatening. This is especially important for older adults, who are more likely to have pneumonia and complications.
  • Detection of breast cancer: Nearly half of all new cases of breast cancer occur in women 65 years or more. Between the ages of 50 and 74, women should have a mammogram every 2 years to detect breast cancer. According to the risk factors of breast cancer you have, your doctor may recommend a mammogram more often.
  • Colorectal cancer screening: Two out of three new cases of colorectal cancer occur in adults 65 years or more. From age 50 until age 75, all adults should be screened for colorectal cancer. Your doctor will recommend the type of testing is right for you.
  • Detection of diabetes: Diabetes is common in older adults. It affects nearly 1 in 4 adults 60 and older. If your blood pressure is consistently greater than 135/80 mm Hg, your doctor may give you a test for diabetes, even if no symptoms.
  • Detection of cholesterol: High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Men aged 35 years or more should be examined cholesterol levels regularly. Women 45 and older who are at risk for coronary heart disease should also be a review. Cholesterol levels are examined with a blood test.
  • Screening for osteoporosis: The risk of osteoporosis increases as you age. Women 65 and older should get tested for osteoporosis. This test is called bone density.

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