As people age, health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and degenerative bone diseases become more common, and it’s important for seniors to visit their physicians on a regular basis to be on the lookout for new issues so prompt treatment can be prescribed. Here are five reasons your senior loved one should regularly see the doctor.
1. Check Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most significant risk factors in the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Hypertension doesn’t usually cause symptoms, and the only way to know if your loved one has it is to have a simple blood pressure check at the doctor’s office.
2. Review Medications
Your loved one may be taking multiple medications for a variety of conditions. Sometimes medication doses need to be adjusted, or the doctor may need to check to see if they’re still effective in treating what they were prescribed for.
Some seniors who take multiple medications find it challenging to remember how much medication to take and when to take it. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior home care. Fort Myers families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
3. Get Anticoagulant Lab Tests
If your loved one takes an anticoagulant medication, or blood thinner, to reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke, he or she needs periodic blood tests to determine the effectiveness of the drug on bleeding and clotting times. If these blood tests are abnormal, the doctor may need to make adjustments in the medication.
If your loved one needs assistance getting to and from regular doctor’s appointments, consider hiring a professional caregiver to help when you aren’t able to be there. Fort Myers respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
4. Get Tested for Anemia
Aging adults may be at higher risk for developing anemia because of preexisting medical conditions, aspirin therapy, or poor nutritional intake. While severe or persistent anemia may cause shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and a fast heart rate, it’s often asymptomatic, which means seniors need to regularly see their doctors to determine if they’re anemic. A simple diagnostic test known as a complete blood count, or CBC, will alert your loved one’s doctor to low levels of hemoglobin or hematocrit in the blood. If these low values are discovered, prompt treatment, such as iron supplementation, can begin.
5. Evaluate Bone Density
Bone disorders, including bone thinning and osteoporosis, are common in aging adults. While osteoporosis is more common in postmenopausal women, men can be affected by it as well. The sooner bone disorders are diagnosed and treated, the less likely seniors are to experience fractures. A physical examination along with a bone density test can detect changes in bone density. If the doctor determines your loved one has low bone density, calcium and vitamin D supplements may be recommended to maintain bone strength. Certain prescription medications used to treat osteoporosis may also be prescribed. It’s important to note that while these drugs can slow the progression of osteoporosis, they do little to reverse existing bone loss.
It’s important for seniors to visit their doctors regularly to ensure their long-term health and wellbeing. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Fort Myers home care services. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. Call us today at (239) 449-4701 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.