It’s Men’s Health Month. Now is a good time to encourage your dad to see his doctor. If he hasn’t been in a while, he’s not alone. A survey of men found that 72 percent said they’d rather clean a toilet than go to the doctor, and 50 percent said they haven’t been to the doctor in years.
If your dad hasn’t been in years, he needs to go. Anxiety isn’t uncommon. Start small and work from there. Talk to the doctor’s office about his anxiety and work in small steps. What’s important is that he goes for these important tests.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Not every man should be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm, but if your dad was a smoker, it’s recommended. It’s a pain-free procedure involving an ultrasound of the heart and abdomen.
Your dad can check his blood pressure at home. He can also use machines found at pharmacies and stores. He does need to have his blood pressure taken in a doctor’s office, too. If it is high, diet and exercise may be all that’s needed to lower it.
While osteoporosis is more common in women, older men also need to have their bone density checked. It’s an x-ray test that your dad won’t feel. If his bones are weaker than they should be, medications and diet can help strengthen them.
Cholesterol screenings are a simple blood test. It should be performed every few years. Your dad’s doctor may want the screening done more often, but it may depend on what your dad’s insurance company allows.
Colorectal Cancer Screening
Colorectal cancer screenings are recommended when you turn 50. If polyps or cancer is found, the screening will need to be repeated more often. Otherwise, the general recommendation is every 5 to 10 years, depending on the type of test performed.
Screening for hepatitis C used to be recommended only for certain people. Older adults born between 1945 and 1965 were on that list. The CDC now recommends that all adults get screened once for hepatitis C.
There are two ways the prostate is screened for problems. The first is an exam of the rectum to check the wall of the prostate for abnormalities. A less invasive option is a PSA blood test that looks for prostate-specific antigen levels.
If your dad is diagnosed with a chronic health condition, what happens next? He may benefit from having home care aides helping him with medication reminders, transportation to medical specialists for treatments and surgeries, and assistance at home with housekeeping and meals. Call a home care agency to make arrangements.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care in Gaithersburg, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585.