As you enter your 60s, the idea of retirement comes into view. And when you want to enjoy the time you have to relax and live life to the fullest, you don't want to be worried about your health. Now is the time to continue your preventative care, adding extra insurance against health concerns that come with growing older.
Of course, you should continue the recommended preventative care from your 50s and earlier, depending on the advice of your healthcare provider. But there are a few extra steps to take in your 60s that can help keep you healthy. Here are a few items to look into with your healthcare provider.
The CDC recommends a shingles vaccine even for those as young as their 50s, so by your 60s, this becomes even more important. The good news is, you only need to get it once, though it is usually administered in a two-dose series.
Shingles are a result of the chickenpox virus reactivating in the body, so anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of developing shingles as an adult. This painful rash often appears on the torso, and the pain can last even after the spots and blisters are gone. Since there is no known catalyst for the onset of shingles, the only way to prevent it is to get vaccinated.
As you get older, pneumonia becomes a greater concern. This infection in the air pockets of your lungs can be mild, or it may be severe and even life-threatening. That's why it's a good idea to ask about the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine as you enter your 60s.
This respiratory illness is spread via close contact, coughing, and sneezing. Some people are at an increased risk for contracting it, including those who are 65 and up. Take control of your preventative care, and talk with your provider about getting the vaccine at your next appointment.
Osteoporosis can affect anyone, but bone density is mainly a concern for women age 65 and up, as well as those with additional risk factors. Postmenopausal women 50 and older, people with a hunched posture that has developed recently, those who have lost more than 1.5 inches of their adult height, and anyone over 50 who has broken a bone, among other at-risk groups, should discuss their risk factors with a healthcare professional.
The name comes from the word "osteo," meaning bone, and "poro" meaning pore, so by default, that translates to a disorder resulting from more porous, or less dense, bones. Low bone density is more common as we age, when bones become more and more porous, which can eventually lead to breaks. This can make slips and falls more dangerous as the years go by.
The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to spot the signs well before you have any problems. You can do this with a bone marrow density exam. This is a simple and straightforward procedure that involves x-ray imaging that lets your provider get an inside look at how dense your bones are. As you enter this new decade of life, have a conversation with your healthcare provider about what screening is right for you.
For more information about preventative care in any stage of life, the experts at CHP are ready to help. Contact your nearest clinic to find out more about what you need to do to stay healthy and thriving. For more information about the preventative care you should be doing at every stage of life, download our Preventative Care Checklist.