Many Americans getting on with their age have no idea what preventative tests they need, according to the Wall Street Journal. But there are resources out there that can enable them to take back control of their health, the publication writes.
Many People May Need Preventative Screenings Earlier Than They Think
Preventative screening should often start well before people expect, with the American Cancer Society recommending that those with an average risk start being screened for colon cancer at just 45, for example, the Wall Street Journal writes. However, only a little over half of those between 50 and 64 have actually been tested, according to the publication.
Rarely does a health-insurance plan compensate physicians for the time they spend discussing preventative measures with patients, according to the Wall Street Journal. And once someone reaches their 50s and 60s, they are more likely to see specialists than a doctor who looks at their overall health, the publication writes. Therefore, physicians can’t be relied on to keep track of what shots, tests and treatments a person may need, the Wall Street Journal writes.
To take control of their preventative care, people can turn to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a group of medical experts who asses screenings and release guidelines, according to the publication. The task force’s website contains tools that can easily filter for “senior” screenings, the Wall Street Journal writes.
To simplify the process, the website Better Health While Aging, published by Leslie Kernisan, has an article and checklist covering the USPSTF’s recommendations for seniors and the services that are covered by Medicare, according to the publication. Kernisan, a specialist in geriatrics, also discusses why recommendations change and how some tests can be harmful, the Wall Street Journal Writes.