Nobody likes getting sick or injured. And once you reach the age of 60 and older, preventing illness and injury becomes even more crucial. Thankfully, at AgeWell Medical Associates, PC, in Colorado Springs, we offer a wide-range of on-site preventive care services for all our patients.
We have the staff and resources available to provide you a full range of preventive services. Best of all, preventive care not only helps you stay out of the doctor’s office, you save money, time, and frustration.
Please contact us to schedule an appointment for preventive care or any of our comprehensive primary care services. Give us a call today:
Keep reading for answers to common questions about preventive care …
What Is Preventive Care?
Preventive care is basically any medical tests, shots or doctor visit you undergo to prevent a sickness, illness or to find a potential health issue. As you age, your risk of health complications or problems increases.
By discovering these conditions in their earliest stages, you increase your odds of beating them. Though it might be easier to say ignorance is bliss when it comes to your health, the more you know the better. Consider preventive care as your way of seeing into your future and tweaking the outcome in your favor. Why wouldn’t you want to do that?
How Can Preventive Care Save You Money?
Yes. Many times, preventive care does reduce your overall medical cost. Let’s consider an example. You received your flu vaccination. This shot prevented you from getting the flu a month later when it was going through your family like wildfire. At the very least, it prevented you from getting sick, and saved you the cost of medication and an office visit. At best, it prevented a hospitalization or even death due to flu complications.
Do Preventive Care Measures Always Prevent Problems?
No. Unfortunately, nothing is a 100% guarantee. To continue with the example above, you might still contract the flu, even after receiving the flu vaccination. However, experts agree after you take the shot, even if you get the flu, the symptoms will be less severe and your recovery time will be quicker. In addition, preventive care won’t always keep cancer away completely, but it might find it in the early stages, which will increase your chances of beating it and living a full and healthy life.
What Are Common Preventive Care Services?
The following are several common preventive care services based upon Medicare’s coverage and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. These services primarily fall into one of three categories which are listed below:
- Screenings: This is when your primary care provider runs a test to look for a potential issue. In most cases, there are no noticeable symptoms. Therefore, screenings are vitally important to catching diseases early. Common screenings include tests to discover high blood sugar or high blood pressure. Screenings can also find some types of cancer as well.
- Checking for Problems: You have some symptoms, but they are minor. Therefore, they are often overlooked in a routine medical visit. This type of preventive care is mainly completed by your medical provider asking you questions. They might include inquiries about your mental state. Do you suffer from depression? They might also include questions about addiction or even falls to determine your overall well being.
- Medications and Vaccines: This is when a medical professional administers vaccinations or medications as a way to reduce your risk of contracting an illness in the future.
Types of Preventive Services as Defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Flu Vaccination: Around 85% of deaths from influenza occurs in people aged 65 years or older. This makes this particular vaccination vitally important for older adults.
- Pneumonia Vaccination: Pneumonia can cause life-threatening complications in older adults. Therefore, this is another preventive service you will want to check out.
- Shingrix Vaccination: The CDC recommends that adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease.
- Tdap Vaccination: The CDC recommends that adults get a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) or Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.
- Breast Cancer Screenings: Women aged 50 to 74 should have a routine mammogram performed every two years to check for breast cancer. Of all new breast cancer cases, nearly half of them are women aged 65 or older. This reveals the importance of this test.
- Colorectal Cancer Screening: All adults aged 50 through 75 years of age should be screened for colon cancer. There are several ways to go about this, and your medical professional can discuss the benefits of each. Keep in mind, two out of every three new colon cancer cases occurred in adults aged 65 and older. Therefore, it’s important to stay on top of your colon screenings.
- Cholesterol Screening: Women 45 years and older along with men aged 35 years of age and older should have their cholesterol checked regularly. It is important to stay on top of this because high cholesterol is one risk factor for stroke and heart disease. A simple blood test is all that’s needed to perform a cholesterol test.
- High Blood Pressure Screening: It’s common for high blood pressure to become a problem as you age. Therefore, blood pressure should be checked anytime you are visiting your medical professional.
- Diabetes Screening: Diabetes is a very common disease affecting older adults. One out of every four adults aged 60 and older will develop the condition. Therefore, especially if you are overweight, it’s important for you to be screened for diabetes (being overweight increases your risk of developing diabetes).
- Osteoporosis Screening: Your risk of developing osteoporosis goes up as you age. Therefore, a bone mass test, also called a bone density test, is a wise idea. This is especially true for women over the age of 65.