Senior Safe-Health Management-Screening-Emergencies-Seasonal Immunizations
Know your body:
With age comes a gradual diminishing of the senses: slowly dimming vision, gradual hearing loss and lessening sensitivity of the senses of smell, taste and touch. But disease is not an inevitable part of growing older. Many people age without ever being seriously ill. But too often, senior adults accept debilitating conditions and symptoms as “old age” and may never know that most of their problems are treatable, even curable.
Because of advances in medical science, we can live long and healthier lives. Regular check-ups, early detection and treatment can make a difference between a minor condition and a life threatening illness. Many hospitals and health care centers offer regular screening events for seniors, often at no cost. Participate! It’s quick and easy and you’ll know you’ve made a positive step toward better health.
*More than 16 million Americans have diabetes and 6 million of those don’t know it.
*Stokes strike 550,000 Americans every year, killing 150,000.
*Just because you haven’t seen a doctor, doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk.
As part of your regular health care, have a yearly check-up from your primary care physician. based on the examination, tests or screenings may be recommended to detect ailments or diseases. Discuss with your doctor your individual possibilities for illness based on heredity, previous illness and current symptoms before advanced problems occur.
*Blood Pressure: Have it checked at least once a year, more often if you already have hypertension. High blood pressure affects approximately 50 million people. It can cause a heart attack/heart failure, stroke, kidney failure as well as host of other serious problems. 1/3 of the people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it because it often shows no signs or symptoms.
*Cholesterol: Check it at least every two years between ages 60 and 75 then yearly. People with heart disease usually have high levels of cholesterol. High cholesterol is often treated with diet, exercise and sometimes medication.
*Diabetes: Have a fasting plasma glucose or oral glucose-tolerance blood test every three years if level is normal, every 1-2 years if it isn’t.
*Dental Exam: Have a twice a year, whether you have natural teeth or dentures.
*Electrocardiogram (EKG): Have a baseline EKG by age 65. Frequency of EKG’s depends on history. 95% of people who have a stroke don’t go to the hospital in the the first three hours.
*Hearing Exam: Have annually along with your regular physical.
*Eye Exam: Have a basic exam and glaucoma test annually by an ophthalmologist or after age 65 every two years.
*Osteoporosis Screening: Beginning at age 60 do a bone density screening test (x-ray) every two years to identify bone loss. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones are weak, causing them to break more often. Treatment for osteoporosis is often a change in diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise or hormone replacement therapy.
*Mammogram: Do annually after age 50. Self-examine your breasts monthly.
*Occult Blood: Annually test for blood in a stool sample.
*Colon Exam: Have a fecal-occult blood test every year, a flexible sigmoidoscopy or barium enema X-ray every five years, depending on personal history. Colonoscopy every ten years.
*Prostate: Starting at 50, have a digital rectal exam and PSA blood test annually.
*Testicular Exam: Do yearly. Perform a self-examination monthly.
These ARE health emergencies that require immediate action. All warning signs and symptoms may not be exhibited or may come and go. Dial 9-1-1 immediately. Calling a physician first may take too long.
Diabetic Insulin Reaction Symptoms:
*nervousness rapid pulse
*appear confused/incoherent for no reason
Heart Attack Symptoms:
* extreme or moderate shortness of breath
*discomfort, tightness or pain in the center or left of chest, often radiating to arm or other areas that lasts more than a few minutes.
*anxiety, uneven pulse or heartbeat sweating
*lightheadedness, loss of consciousness
*sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in the victim’s face, limbs or on one side of body (followed by pins and needles tingling)
*sudden confusion or disorientation
*heavy breathing inability to speak
*sudden , severe, unexplained headache
*unexplained dizziness, loss of balance
*loss of consciousness, convulsions
*sudden nausea, vomiting
Heat Stroke Symptoms:
*body temp. over 104F
*red, dry and/or hot skin
*deep breathing with a fast pulse then shallow breathing with a weak pulse
*irritability, confusion, delirium, hallucinations
*loss of consciousness, convulsions
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe or life-threatening complications, especially for seniors. The flu season varies yearly.
Symptoms include a high fever, headaches, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, chills and muscle aches. It is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing.
To avoid the flu:
*get a flu shot. If it’s unavailable, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication.
*avoid close contact with people who are sick.
*wash your hands often and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Seniors have special health concerns. Knowing how to respond in these health emergencies may save a life. Ideally, at lease one person in every household should be trained and certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), taking yearly refresher classes.
*Never move an accident victim. It could further the damage.
*Never give alcohol to a person who is ill or has had an accident. It could harm them or affect their treatment.
*Never give food or drink to an unconscious person. It won’t help them. He could choke.
*Always wear or carry your Med Alert information on you.
Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the National Child Safety Council pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. Please check out their website for more information on their programs.
Please be sure to have a annual exam for your health every year.
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