Category Archives: Senior & Independent Living

Medical Tests and Health Screenings Older Adults Should Do Now

fall-prevention-annual-wellness-exam-with-doctorAn annual wellness appointment or physical check-up is essential for any healthy older adult (age 65+).  Blood pressure, cholesterol levels (good and bad cholesterol), and an all body (head to toe) exam are all very important- yet it is the screening tests that can go a long way to reassuring a generally healthy older adult that a heart attack, stroke or cancer condition are not in the near future.  Regular health screenings for older adults is critical to maintaining good medical health and which also serves to minimize the occurrence of one of those top three causes of elderly death- heart attack, cancer and stroke.  The following is a list of key medical tests and health screenings for men and women combined.  Note: For test and screenings specifically for men, click on the following phrase: medical tests and health screenings for men as older adults.  For tests and screenings specifically for women, click on the following phrase: medical tests and health screenings for women as older adults.



At the very least, schedule an annual check-up of your blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting glucose.  your physician may also recommend checks for hormone levels, liver enzymes, electrolytes and other indicators.  an annual screening of blood pressure and cholesterol measurements (the good and bad cholesterol)  can help identify asymptomatic individuals at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.  alternative screenings such as calcium score and various stress tests can be screenings performed for older adults who have known heart disease or symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain.


This medical test can identify polyps early so they can be removed before they become life threatening.  many physicians recommend having the first colonoscopy at the age of fifty (50) years of age; then every ten (10) years thereafter.  A personal or family history of polyps may indicate a need for more frequent medical testing.


Most physicians recommend a thorough eye examination that also includes a glaucoma screening.  if an older adult experiences impaired or blurred vision, seek medical attention immediately and do not wait for the annual calender year vision and eye wear check-up.


Older adults, men and women alike, should conduct monthly checks of their skin for any change in the color, size, texture, or shape of a mole, freckle or spot, or for any new markings.  ask a spouse, partner or confidant to check hard-to-see places on your body such as the back, neck or the back of legs.  start with a dermatologist appointment for a whole-body check to make sure existing freckles, spots and marks are okay and to identify anything that is suspicious and needs further observation and analysis.  Post dermatology exam, schedule an annual skin cancer check-up or even more frequently in the event the older adult has had skin cancers identified or if advised by your physician.

Do not put your life at risk.  Skin cancer or especially pre-skin cancer, if caught early can be prevented.  Stay on top of your health.

Older Adult Health Advisory- A Caution About Dietary Supplements

Several Prescription Pill Bottles in a PileIn 2013, dietary supplement products are not regulated or screened by the U.S. Government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  This means dietary supplement manufacturers can market and sell their products to the consumer marketplace without first having to prove the efficacy.

Furthermore, there are more than 54,000 dietary supplement products (pill, liquid and powder formulations) listed in the Natural medicines Comprehensive Database and only thirty-three percent (33%) have some level of scientific “endorsement” for their effectiveness.  Approximately, twelve percent (12%) have been singled out or red-flagged for safety issues, with safety being a critical concern.

This low level of FDA oversight can potentially translate into inadequate quality control of the dietary supplement product manufacturers and the industry they represent.  As more than fifty-percent (50%) of American’s (and to a large degree the older adult community at-large) take dietary supplements on a fairly regular basis, this may cause more harm than good for people who look to these supplements to keep them healthy.  As a result, these supplements (not all mind you) across the board, may contain too much or too little active ingredient, and may also be contaminated.


If you are currently, or have recently stopped, taking dietary supplement products, you should inform your physician.  This is even more important if the user takes other medications.  It is possible for the dietary supplements to interact with your conventional drug medications in a negative manner (i.e. side effects). avoid taking the following dietary supplements as being identified by the Consumers Union (CU)  as being linked to case and/or clinical reports to serious side effects:

Aconite; Bitter Orange; Chaparral; Colloidal Silver; Coltsfoot; Comfrey; Country Mallow; Germanium; Greater Celandine; Kava; Lobelia; and Yohimbe.

Always consult or inform your physician and pharmacist regarding any prescription drug medication, over the counter medication or dietary supplement product you may be currently or thinking of taking in the near future.  We also suggest you consider scheduling an annual wellness appointment with your primary physician or local health care provider to review and manage your medications.