Though many health concerns affecting the elderly have similar statistics for both genders, there are some conditions senior women may be at higher risk for. However, scheduling an annual checkup can give your elderly loved one a greater chance of preventing certain issues or treating them if they are caught early enough. Toronto caregivers have put together a list of 5 things your loved one should consider getting screened for during her checkups.
1. Bone Mineral Density
Over 80 percent of seniors diagnosed with osteoporosis are women. This debilitating medical condition drastically increases the risk of bone fractures and continues to get worse if it is not treated with medication. Screening for osteoporosis requires taking a few X-rays of your loved one’s spine, hips, and wrists.
2. Breast Cancer
By the time a woman is 40, she should already be scheduling one mammogram and one clinical breast exam every year and should try to stick to this routine well into the senior years. These tests are especially important for women who have a family history of breast cancer or any other form of soft tissue cancer. If the doctor finds any abnormalities during these checkups, a breast ultrasound can determine if a biopsy is needed.
3. Colorectal Cancer
In 2015, there were approximately 11,000 senior women in Canada diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Doctors have a 90 percent success rate treating this disease when it is caught in its earliest stages. Unfortunately, this particular form of cancer generally produces no side effects until it has spread throughout the colon. Older women who do not have a family history of colon cancer only need to have this test carried out once every ten years.
4. High Cholesterol
Over 25 percent of all deaths are the result of heart disease, and one of the best ways for your loved one to prevent this serious condition is to keep her cholesterol levels as low as possible. Luckily, doctors often test cholesterol levels as a matter of routine whenever blood is drawn. In addition to LDL (bad cholesterol) screening, female seniors should also schedule BMI tests to assess their risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Skin cancer is the second most common form of cancer among women over the age of 30. Most specialists suggest older women schedule mole screening at least twice a year if they have fair skin, blonde hair, or freckles. To help prevent melanoma, your loved one can limit her skin’s exposure to the sun by wearing wide-brimmed hats and applying sunscreen daily.
Adopting a healthier lifestyle can reduce the risk of these and many other conditions elderly women face. This may include dietary changes, increased exercise, and other considerations. If your loved one needs help managing her health, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help with physical activity, meal prep, medication reminders, and many other tasks. For more information on elder home care Toronto families trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (416) 488-8777 to schedule a complimentary consultation.