In the beginning of 20th century the life expectancy for women was just over 50 yrs but now thanks to advances in healthcare women can now expect to live up to 75-80 yrs of age .
Consequently women will spend at least one third of their lives in post menopausal years and it has become a challenge for medicine and society to make these years as productive and free of morbidity as possible .
The aim of annual gynaecological check up is to screen acute and chronic illnesses ,screening for cancers , advise for nutrition , exercises ,immunisation ,safety and dealing with psycho social issues .
We get one body and we want it to keep moving and functioning and there is a lot we can do for staying physically and mentally healthy with age .
Here are few tips for preventive healthcare after 50
- See your healthcare provider regularly even if you feel perfectly healthy ,you should visit your doctor at least once a year
- Get screened – Certain screening tests can help in diagnosing health problems early
- Diabetes – If you have a family h/o diabetes or if you are hypertensive or if your cholesterol levels are high get checked blood sugars every 2 yrs .
- Cholesterol test – Get it checked every 2 yrs in case of positive history of diabetes /hypertension or hypothyroidism .
- Blood pressure – Should be checked every year
- Bone health evaluation – get your dexa scan to rule out osteoporosis every 2 yrs get your calcium and vitamin d3 levels also checked .
- Screening for cervical cancer – Get pap smear test with HPV DNA PCR tests every 3 yrs up to 70 yrs of age .in suspicious cases screening frequency can be increased
- Clinical breast examination by a doctor should be done every year and mammography should be done every 2 yrs
- Colorectal cancer screening – get stool test for occult blood annually and colonoscopy every 5 yr if there is positive family history otherwise every 10 yrs
- Heart disease – Get. ECG. Blood pressure and lipid profile checked every year .
- Dental check up should be done every year
- Hearing and vision screening every year as chances of cataract , glaucoma and hearing problems increases with age .
- Screening for thyroid disorders should be done every 2 yrs .
- Take medicines ,vitamins and supplements as advised and directed by your doctor regularly .
- Healthy and nutritious diet – In later life you need healthy food with less calories .take care of few things in everyday life
- Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily .go for deep coloured fruits and vegetables as they are rich in vitamins and minerals .
- Choose fibre rich whole grain bread and rice .use low calorie grains like oats ,bajra millets .pick less fatty meat like chicken and low fat milk ,cheese and yogurt .take plenty of lentils and soya products .
- To keep your bone strong , include sources of calcium and vitamin D like dairy products in diet .
- Use healthier fats like olive/mustard /coconut oil .
- Diet should include at least 20 %protein , 45 % carbohydrate and rest should be fats , drink plenty water .Reduce intake of salt and sugar .include flaxseeds ,dry fruits in diet .
- Get vaccinated
- Flu shot every year
- Tetanus shot every 10 yrs
- herpes zoster vaccine once after 60 yrs
- Pneumococcal vaccine at 60 yrs age with repetition every 5 yrs .6 hepatitis B vaccine 2 ink 6months apart and booster every 5 yrs .
- Exercise your body – regular exercise is good for every age .Along with healthy diet exercise helps in maintaining a healthy weight it tones up heart ,circulation and muscles ,strengthens bones ,increases brain function , lifts mood and can help prevent and ease depression . Exercise program can be tailor made as per requirement of person .Do weight bearing ,bone building exercises such as walking , jogging and swimming
- Exercise your brain – join a discussion club or a class at community college .do word puzzles ,number puzzles and jigsaw puzzles .challenge the brain by trying new things .stay connected with your friends and community .socialise with people of all ages and keep meeting new people
- Quit smoking and drink alcohol in moderation .
- Take adequate sleep for at least 6-8 hrs everyday .avoid using mobile /tablet at least 1 hr before bedtime to help quite the brain .
- Maintain healthy weight – loosing weight after 50 is difficult because of slowing of metabolism . Being overweight Increases risk of developing hypertension , diabetes and heart disease .
Follow these tips or maintaining a healthy life even after 50 years of age