Staying on top of your health should be a priority at any age. But keeping your health in check as you become older can help prevent more serious problems in the future. Ladies, why not kick-start the new year with a health check? Here’s our women’s health checklist to get you started:
High blood pressure is extremely common in those over the age of 65. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, so it’s important to know where your blood pressure is at. It’s a good idea to have it checked every year. Most pharmacies offer free blood pressure testing for seniors, so there’s no excuse for putting off a blood pressure check!
As we age, our bodies tend to produce more cholesterol. High cholesterol can also increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you have a family history of high cholesterol, you’re more at risk. Health experts recommend having your cholesterol tested every 3 to 5 years, depending on your results.
If you carry a little extra weight, a type 2 diabetes test is recommended every few years. If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, you should also be tested. Type 2 diabetes can affect your vision, increase your risk of heart disease, kidney failure, and cause nerve damage, particularly if left untreated. Speak to your doctor about a test if you think you’re at risk.
Osteoporosis affects approximately 1 in 4 women in Australia over the age of 75. After menopause, oestrogen levels drop, and bone loss increases. Smoking and long-term heavy drinking amongst other things can also raise your risk of osteoporosis. A bone density test is recommended for women over the age of 65, or women who have recently broken a bone.
Breast and cervical cancer
Breast cancer screenings are recommended every 1 to 2 years. If you’re aged 75 or older, discuss the benefits of screening with your doctor. Cervical cancer screenings are generally not needed after the age of 65, if your previous screenings have been all clear. But always make sure you talk to your GP about what’s right for you.
Experiencing changes in your body, lifestyle, and even the effects of new medication can all impact your mental health. If you suspect a mental health issue, and are getting regular exercise, eating well, and staying social, speak to your doctor. You can discuss the best way to improve your mental health. You could also explore alternatives to medication such as cognitive behavioural therapy.
If you’ve noticed your memory is worse lately, you may be worried about dementia. However, forgetfulness can be caused by a number of things. It can also be a symptom of depression, so it’s important not to make any assumptions until you seek a medical opinion. To learn about recognising the difference between normal forgetfulness and dementia, you can read more here.
If you need assistance getting to and from medical appointments safely, we can help. Find out about our transport services here.