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What Should Senior Women Be Screened for in an Annual Checkup?

Families who provide care for elderly females should encourage their loved ones to get regular screenings for certain health conditions they could be at risk for. In honor of National Women’s Checkup Day, the staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care in Las Vegas, has put together a list of some of these concerns.

Osteoporosis

Bone loss accelerates after menopause due to the decrease in estrogen production. Approximately 12 percent of women over age 60 experience an osteoporosis-related hip fracture. Menopausal women at risk for osteoporosis should talk to their doctors about getting a bone density screening. This test is typically performed using a CT scan, which is noninvasive and painless. If the test indicates bone loss, the doctor can recommend therapy for your loved one designed to preserve or rebuild bone density.

Hearing

Approximately 33 percent of people over age 65 have some degree of hearing loss. Though men are more likely to experience this than women, your loved one should still have her hearing checked annually. If not addressed, hearing loss can affect emotional, social, cognitive, and communicative function. Many senior women find their quality of life greatly increases once the hearing deficit is resolved with basic hearing aids.

Vision

Up to half of all older adults develop vision problems such as refractive errors, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, and women are more susceptible to vision loss than men. Vision loss is especially prevalent among senior women with conditions like diabetes, which can damage the blood vessels of the eyes. These issues can impact independence and quality of life by limiting the ability to drive and perform routine activities. Poor vision can also make your loved one more prone to falls. Women older than 65 should get annual eye exams and consult specialists as necessary to address issues that may require surgical intervention.

Functional Status

A woman’s functional status can decrease rapidly after age 65. To assess this, doctors rely on both the senior self-reporting and performance tests such as balance and gait evaluations. Your loved one should talk to her doctor if she experiences a change in her ability to perform normal activities of daily living or the ability to walk or stand without assistance. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, assistive devices, and the help of a Las Vegas live-in home caregiver can be useful in increasing functional capacity and allowing your loved one to remain independent.

To learn more about helping senior women maintain their health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a trusted provider of Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care in Las Vegas, and our caregivers can assist with mobility, transportation to and from medical appointments, medication reminders, and much more. For more information on our elder care services and to schedule a free consultation, call 702-550-3185 today.