The Greens at Cannondale recently hosted a Preventive Wellness seminar presented by Dr. Joseph Wakim, a geriatric physician in Darien who specializes in family and senior care medicine. Dr Wakim is a regular presence on the Wilton Campus and sees residents living at Wilton Meadow as well as at The Greens at Cannondale.
Dr Wakim is passionate about a wellness model of care that emphasizes prevention. The avoidance of chronic and acute medical conditions is not only less costly but often improves quality of life, reduces unnecessary hospital admissions and leads to improved overall long-term health.
Interventions, such as, health screenings and immunizations are especially important for older adults as their risk of chronic and acute conditions is significantly greater than the rest of the population.
The most important steps you can take to improving you overall health and quality of life is to take the following preventative measures before you are symptomatic according to Dr. Wakim.
Blood Pressure Screening: High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for heart disease and it increases the risk of strokes. It should be done at every doctor’s visit, at least twice yearly.
Cholesterol Screening: High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Diabetes Screening: Older adults are at higher risk of developing of Type 2 diabetes due to increase insulin resistance. Adults older than age 45 should be screened every 1-3 years. Intensive life style modification in people with pre diabetes has shown to delay progression to clinical diabetes.
Hepatitis C Screening: Recommended for adults born between 1945 and 1965 (prevalence 3-4%)
Glaucoma Screening: Medicare covers annual glaucoma testing
Colorectal Cancer Screening: Adults should be screened beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years. The US Preventative Services Task Force recommends against routine screening for colorectal cancer in adults 76 to 85 years of age. There may be considerations that support colorectal cancer screening in an individual patient.
Lung Cancer Screening: Annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) is recommended in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
Screening for Women:
Screening for Men:
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The flu vaccination is the most important way to prevent influenza and antiviral drugs are the most important way to treat influenza infection. Studies have shown that early treatment with a flu antiviral drug can shorten the duration of fever and illness symptoms, and can reduce the risk of serious flu complications.
High-dose influenza vaccine provided a 25% relative reduction in the likelihood of developing laboratory-confirmed influenza compared with standard-dose vaccine in patients 65 years and older.