elderly

Importance of Regular Aged Care GP Assessments

 

Your health should always be one of your top priorities. You can enjoy a longer and happier life if you establish good health habits in your younger years.

 

Reaching the point where your health is considered ‘aged care’ requires taking your health care one step further. It’s at this age where many people become more prone to illnesses and the lifestyle diseases which includes atherosclerosis, different heart diseases, stroke, obesity, diabetes and any diseases associated with smoking and alcohol use. Whilst evidence of these things may have lay dormant for some years, they might start impacting on your overall health as you reach this phase of life. It’s a good time to re-evaluate your overall health and come up with a plan to help ensure you remain as healthy as possible as you begin to reach the graceful years.

 

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Regular health checks and screening tests become essential even when there are no signs or symptoms. That means that even if you’re healthy, you should not forget to visit your general practitioner (GP) or to get the screening tests done. This can help identify any issues early on and come up with a plan to combat any issues that may arise.

 

What does regular health check at this age involve?

Breast Check and Mammogram
This is usually done every 2 years (or more frequently depending on your doctor’s advice) for women aged 50-74, but women aged 40-49 can also be screened free of charge upon request.  A mammogram is where both breasts are spread out by pressing them between two X-ray plates so the specialist can take clear photos and determine if there are any cancer cells or any other medical issues.

 

Bone Density
Your bones need calcium and other minerals to give them the bone mass or density to prevent them from breaking or getting fractured. Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones brittle due to mineral loss. It affects one in three men over the age of 60 in Australia. Men are advised to get the Bone Density Scan at the age of 50 and for women, they are recommended to have them at 65 but they can have the scan at a younger age if they have previous fractures, family history or have certain medical conditions. The most accurate and useful bone density scan is called Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) which is a painless kind of test and involves a very love dose of radiation.

 

Prostate Cancer
This type of cancer affects men aged 50 and above. You may talk to your doctor about the benefits and also the risks of getting prostate cancer tests. If you decide to undergo a test, there are two common ways of checking the possibility of having prostate cancer: Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) where your doctor checks for abnormalities in the prostate gland by inserting a lubricated gloved finger into the rectum. The other test is the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test which measure the level of PSA in your blood (not to actually determine if there are cancer cells).

 

Faecal Occult Blood Test
You should get tested at least every two years for Faecal Occult Blood Test to avoid the risk of getting bowel movement cancer. The National Bowel Cancer Program provides bowel cancer home screening kits that may be sent to a laboratory for analysis.

 

Visual and Hearing impairment
You need to get your eye check every two years for glaucoma from which is the leading cause of blindness in Australia so it can be controlled. It can also be a way to signal some other health issues like macular degeneration (blurry or total blindness in the field of vision’s center).

 

About half of Australia’s population have a certain level of hearing loss and this will absolutely make life difficult for you and everyone around you. But you can definitely avoid this by getting a regular hearing test
              

Get a check up from an aged care Doctor today!
Castle Medical Centre specialises in providing medical services for aged care and our Doctors have a well- established relationship with the aged care facilities in the area.  If you or a family member would benefit from any of our preventative care and ongoing patient care for aged Australian’s, book an appointment with our friendly staff today.

 

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