Health Concerns Older Women Should Be Screened For

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Family caregivers should be aware of some of the health concerns the elderly females in their lives could be at risk for. Here’s a list of some serious complications your aging loved one should be getting screened for on a regular basis. 


After menopause, a woman’s bone density can decrease due to the loss of estrogen. This can lead to osteoporosis, which is responsible for approximately 70 percent of hip fractures in women over 65. 

A baseline bone density scan can detect osteoporosis, and it’s recommended at age 65 and thereafter as determined by a physician. If osteoporosis is found early, the doctor may recommend your loved one take supplements and medication to strengthen her bones and slow the reduction in bone density. 

High Blood Pressure

The risk of high blood pressure greatly increases after menopause. It affects 70 percent of women in their 60s and 70s and nearly 80 percent of women over 75. The April 2013 issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch noted high blood pressure is a “silent killer” of women because many elderly women don’t know their blood pressure numbers. 

Though high blood pressure rarely causes symptoms, it can increase the risk of stroke and lead to kidney damage. It’s vitally important for your loved one to have her blood pressure checked at least once a year. If she is already taking blood pressure medicine, she should review this with her doctor every year.

A home caregiver can help your loved one make healthy lifestyle choices that boost her long-term wellbeing. Home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.


High blood pressure is a risk factor for diabetes. If your loved one has high blood pressure or takes blood pressure medication, she should be screened for diabetes at regular intervals. The risk of diabetes increases with age, and approximately 25 percent of people over 65 have been diagnosed as diabetic. 

Diabetes can cause complications like kidney failure, vision loss, and numbness in the hands and feet. This condition affects women differently than men. Women with the disease have an increased risk of heart disease, blindness, and depression, and they’re also less likely to survive heart attacks than diabetic men. 

Colon Cancer

The risk of colon cancer increases with age. Approximately 90 percent of people diagnosed with colon cancer are over age 50. Some studies have indicated inflammatory bowel disease, a risk factor for colon cancer, is more common in women than men. Research has also shown women tend to develop colon cancer at an older age than men do. 

It’s recommended that senior women have colonoscopies once every 10 years beginning at age 50. This test is particularly important for women because their cancers often develop higher in the colon than men’s cancers do. Colonoscopies are the most appropriate method for detecting cancers in this area because they cannot be seen using other methods. 

If your loved one is unable to undergo a colonoscopy, fecal occult blood tests and sigmoidoscopies are alternative tests she can discuss with her doctor. Fecal occult blood tests can be done yearly. Whichever method your loved one chooses, she should continue colon cancer screening through age 75 as recommended by the doctor. 

One of the many essential forms of assistance a home caregiver can provide is transportation to medical appointments for regular checkups and screenings. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Potomac, MD, Assisting Hands Home Care is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer risk increases with age and is especially common after menopause. It’s important for senior women to have mammograms every two years from the ages of 50 to 74. After age 74, your loved one can decide with the doctor if she would like to continue breast cancer screening. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Potomac families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (301) 363-2580.