The Importance of Annual Physical Exams for Seniors

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It is important that we try to follow up on things that may have been put on the back burner, such as annual physicals.

With isolation and the ability to visit physicians on a normal basis, it is important that senior citizens receive a physical exam to assess their overall health status.
Physical exams involve a series of tests. Below you will find examples of tests that can be included in a physical exam. Some tests are generic while others are more specific to gender or any existing preconditions (or family history).

Routine Tests

  • Blood pressure
  • Height and weight
  • Blood work to assess items such as kidney function, liver function, vitamin deficiencies, electrolyte deficiency, identify infections, and health risk factors
  • EKG to establish a baseline of heart function
  • Fecal Occult Blood test to detect early signs of colorectal cancer
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy: These tests are recommended for individuals older than 45 years, but be required sooner for those at higher risk.

Specific Tests for Women
  • Mammograms are recommended for women 40 and up. Monthly self-breast exams should be done regularly as well and report any abnormal findings to your primary physician
  • Pap smear and Pelvic exam
  • Measurement of Bone Mass to assess for osteoporosis

Specific Tests for Men
  • Prostate exam should start at the age of 50
  • Prostate Specific Antigen is a blood test that can indicate prostate cancer
Also always remember to consult with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.