Monday, November 17, 2014

Indicators to assess health in older adults.

Dr Abe V Rotor

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicators that can be used to help assess health in older adults. 
These indicators are related to health status, health behaviors and compliance with preventative care recommendations and include the following:
·         Number of physically unhealthy days reported per month (due to illness or injury)
·         Frequent mental distress (depression, stress, anxiety or emotional problems reported on 14 or more days per month)
·         Complete loss of natural teeth
·         Current smoking status (smoker or non-smoker)
·         Lack of leisure time/physical activity
·         Regularly eating fewer than 5 fruits and vegetables per day
·         Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or greater)
·         Reported disability (physical, mental or emotional) that limits activity or requires special equipment (cane, walker, wheelchair, hearing-impaired telephone)
·         Hip fracture
·         Receiving a yearly flu vaccine
·         Following routine health care / screening procedure recommendations (cancer, high cholesterol)

General health care recommendations in your 70s and older include the following:
·         Blood pressure screening—every 2 years or as recommended
·         Bone mineral density test—as recommended to screen for osteoporosis (bone loss)
·         Cholesterol screening—every 5 years or as recommended
·         Colorectal cancer screening—as recommended
·         Dental exam—every 6 months or as recommended
·         Diabetes screening—every 3 years or as recommended
·         Eye exam—every 1 – 2 years or as recommended by an ophthalmologist
·         Hearing test—yearly or as recommended
·         Immunizations—yearly flu vaccine, herpes zoster vaccine (to prevent shingles; if not previously vaccinated), pneumonia vaccine (as recommended, if not previously vaccinated), tetanus (every 10 years)
·         Mammogram (women)—as recommended by your health care provider
·         Pelvic exam (women)—yearly or as recommended
·         Pap test (women)—as recommended by your health care provider (Most women over the age of 65 usually do not need this test.)
·         Prostate cancer screening (men)—as recommended by your health care provider
·         Thyroid test (TSH)—as recommended by your health care provider


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