As people age, it becomes increasingly important to visit the doctor on a regular basis. Recognizing and treating health conditions early can help your aging loved one stay healthy, so he or she can better enjoy life. Here are five reasons seniors should go to the doctor regularly.
1. Monitor Prescription Drugs
Prescription medications can cause side effects or adverse reactions. Many seniors take cardiovascular, antihypertensive, and pain medications. These drugs can cause dizziness, confusion, weakness, blurred vision, and gastrointestinal issues such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Your loved one should attend medical appointments regularly so the doctor can evaluate potential drug side effects. If your loved one is experiencing side effects from the medications, the physician can either prescribe a lower dosage or discontinue the medication altogether and recommend a different one.
If you’re unable to monitor your loved one’s medication regimen due to time constraints or personal commitments, hire a professional caregiver for support. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, San Antonio families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
2. Monitor Glucose
Advancing age, obesity, preexisting medical conditions, family history, and medication side effects can cause elevated blood sugar levels or diabetes. To prevent diabetes and other serious health issues, seniors need to visit the doctor on a regular basis for glucose monitoring. The sooner high blood sugar levels are recognized and treated, the less likely your loved one is to develop diabetes-related complications such as poor circulation, stasis ulcers, vision impairment, renal disorders, strokes, and heart attacks. For seniors who already have diabetes, frequent doctor visits can ensure they comply with their medical protocol and maintain a healthy weight.
3. Get Routine Blood Tests
It’s important for seniors to get routinely checked for high cholesterol levels, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and anemia. In addition to checking total cholesterol levels, the physician may also want to check your loved one’s level of high-density lipoproteins, or “good cholesterol,” as well as low-density lipoproteins, or “bad cholesterol.” If low-density lipoproteins are high, the doctor can counsel your loved one on ways to bring them down. Elevated levels of low-density lipoproteins can raise the risk for heart attacks and strokes, so it’s important that these blood lipids are monitored on a regular basis.
It’s common for seniors to skip out on doctor appointments because they don’t want to be lectured about unhealthy behavior or not following medical advice. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care. San Antonio Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
4. Engage in Talk Therapy
Seniors sometimes become anxious about their health status or getting older. Discussing their fears with the doctor can ease anxiety and better prepare them to face the future with hope and enthusiasm. If it’s determined that your loved one has anxiety or depression, the physician can develop a plan of care that may include prescription medications, dietary interventions, exercise advice, and—if needed—a referral to a mental health professional.
5. Check the Skin
Skin problems become common as people age. For example, medications such as diuretics, or “water pills,” can lead to frequent urination, which can cause extremely dry and itchy skin. Other skin issues include basal cell carcinoma, collagen loss, thin skin that’s susceptible to tearing, and rashes. Visiting the doctor regularly ensures skin problems are diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. The doctor may also advise your loved one on strategies to keep the skin healthy, which may include drinking plenty of water throughout the day, moisturizing the skin with a high-quality lotion, using sunscreen, and eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These interventions can keep the skin supple and soft while lowering the risk for dryness, irritation, and skin breakdown.
Visiting the doctor regularly is a great way to maintain good overall health in the senior years. However, older adults may need additional help staying healthy at home. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. San Antonio, Texas, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. To hire a dedicated caregiver for your loved one, give us a call at (210) 495-6300 today.