This is the fifth in a series of posts covering the Healthy Aging Checklist, which is my list of six fundamental activities that will help any older adult maintain the best possible health while aging.
- Promote brain health and emotional well-being.
- Promote physical health.
- Check for and address common aging health problems (such as falls, memory concerns, depression, incontinence, pain, isolation, polypharmacy).
- Learn to optimize the management of any chronic conditions.
- Get recommended preventive health services for older adults.
- Address medical, legal, and financial advance care planning.
In this post, I’ll cover recommended preventive health screening guidelines and other prevention services for older adults. These are based on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and also on Medicare’s coverage of preventive health services.
By my count, based on the USPSTF and Medicare guidelines, there are currently 27 preventive health services that older adults should consider. I have a summary list here, and then detailed information on each service starting here.
But before you read about them, let’s go over the basics of how health screening and other preventive health services work, including why they can sometimes be harmful, or sometimes fall out of favor.
This way, when you review the list of preventive services to consider, you’ll better understand which services are likely to help, and why certain services may not be a good fit for you or your parent.
Understanding Preventive Health Services
Preventive health services essentially fall into three categories: