Preventive Health Care: Tips for Aging Veterans

Veterans In Home Care – Aging Men, Particularly, Need to Get into the Habit of Seeing a Physician Regularly

One thing that you can state about men, in general, is that few of them would actually allow an incredible sports car to be run into the ground, if they had any control over it. Many men take care of their vehicles, new and classic, much better than they take care of their health. This is true for men of all ages, even veterans who might require some type of home care.

Just like taking a car to an auto repair facility for preventive maintenance, it’s important for aging veterans to take care of their own health and well-being. One of the major stumbling blocks to preventive healthcare for men is that, unlike women, men are often not provided the same type of information regarding maintenance schedules.

From early on in life, women are advised to schedule a doctor’s appointment and visit on an annual or biannual basis. Regular cancer screenings and checkups are a routine for women, whereas men aren’t urged as much to practice routine preventive medicine.

In fact, the average adult male will only see a doctor for a regular checkup once they are 40 or 50 years old. At that point, they may only visit their doctor once every 4 to 5 years, on average. That is not dealing with preventive health maintenance properly.

A Preventive Health Maintenance Schedule for Male Veterans

The following are a few things that elderly male veterans may wish to talk to their doctor about and have checked on a regular basis to help improve and ensure health and well-being as much is possible.

Screening for:

  • Colon cancer. Men who are at an average risk of getting colon cancer should be screened regularly beginning at age 50. Any male patient who is at a higher risk of colorectal cancer should be screened earlier than that. The screening should be done once every 10 years at a minimum.
  • Prostate cancer. There are disputed aspects of the benefits of prostate cancer screening with some physicians claiming the test itself can do more harm than good. Consult with your doctor to determine if this is a test you should consider.
  • Lung cancer. Many major medical groups are now recommending that older smokers and former smokers be screened for lung cancer between the ages of 55 and 74.
  • Aspirin therapy. There is a lot of information out there about taking aspirin to help reduce the risk of heart attack and other factors. However, it may not be worth the risk so consult a doctor directly about this is preventive maintenance tip before just taking advice seen on television or read in a magazine.
  • Peripheral artery disease. Every year or two, male individuals should get an ankle-brachial index test performed. This test determines if there is plaque buildup in the arteries in the legs, which can lead to blood clots.
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Any male veteran who has smoked at some point in time should get an ultrasound test for this type of aneurysm. This occurs when blood vessels balloon out and threaten to
    burst. This is most common between the age of 65 and 75. The preventive task force states that non-smokers do not need to get this test.

These are just some of the more important tests and procedures that should be done on a regular basis for aging male veterans. There are many other conditions and ailments that could be discovered by a doctor during a regularly-scheduled check-up. Early intervention is always best, regardless of the condition or the treatment needed, so consider making an appointment with your doctor today.

For more information and to learn about veterans in-home care, contact Veteran’s Home Care at (888) 314-6075.

Bonnie Laiderman, CEO

Bonnie Laiderman, founder and president of Veterans Home Care®, has helped more than 16,000 veterans and their spouses receive in-home care through the unique VetAssist® Program. Started in 2003 as a one-woman operation, Bonnie has overseen the growth of the company to become one of the largest women-owned companies in the St. Louis Metro Region. Veterans Home Care has also earned the Better Business Bureau's Torch Award for Ethics and Inc. 5000 award of fastest growing companies six times. Now with offices coast-to-coast, Veterans Home Care serves our veterans in 44 states throughout the country.