Safety Precaution Tips for Seniors PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Niru Prasad   

To stay healthy and live longer, it is important to follow a 
good nutrition diet, weight control, exercise, stress 

management and have regular medical checkups at frequent 

intervals. To enjoy a healthy life, it is also very important to 

protect yourself against diseases by taking preventive 

Disease Prevention
1)	Cholesterol screening should be done on a yearly 

2)	linmunizations:
 	Influenza - every year

 	Tetanus booster - every 10 years

 	Diphtheria booster - every 10 years

 	Pneumococcus - every 6 years
3)	A regular dental checkup for periodontal disease 

	should be done every year.
4)	Vision should be checked every 1-2 years depending 

	upon the symptom.
5)	Hearing should be tested as needed.
6)	High blood pressure - the warning symptoms of 

	high blood pressure such as headaches, dizziness, 

	weakness, excess weight gain should never be 

7)	Periodic breast examination and mammogram 

	should be performed every year
8)	Pap smear should be done every year.
9)	The warning symptoms of colon rectal cancer such 

	as sudden change in bowel habits, bloody stools, 

	and abdominal cramps should never be ignored. A 

	rectal exam, stool and occult blood tests should be 

	done every year. A sigmoidoscopy should be 

	performed every three to five years.
10)	The warnings signs of diabetes such as increased 

	thirst, frequency of urination, craving for sweets, 

	and strong family history of diabetes should never 

	be ignored. Frequent blood sugars and glucose 

	tolerance tests should be performed on symptomatic 

11)	An oral exam should be done every year.
12)	The warning symptoms of prostate cancer such as 

	frequently of urination, difficulty voiding, and blood 

	in the urine should never be ignored; Regular 

	prostate checkups should be a part of a complete 

	physical exam each year.

13)	Skin cancer - the inspection, recommendations for 

	biopsy and further treatment depend upon physician's 

	evaluation and judgement.
Heartburn and Reflux
Heartburn also known as acid indigestion is a symptom 

affecting all ages, but most common in adults over 60 and is 

caused by backflow of acid from the stomach in esophagus 

leading to irritation of esophagus lining.
The risk of heartburn increases with:
 	· a hiatal hernia (part of the stomach protrudes into the 

	· chest)

 	· ulcers of esophagus

 	· stress

 	· improper diet and overeating

 	· obesity

 	· smoking

 	· excessive intake of alcohol

 	· use of drugs such as aspirin, Motrin, cortisone, etc.
Possible Complications
Frequent heartburn over prolonged periods might lead to 

peptic ulcer disease. associated with the following symptoms 

are suggestive of heart attack and is emergency:
 	· shortness of breath with indigestion and heartburn

 	· sweating, nausea or vomiting

 	· pain in the jaw, neck and arm

 	· cold, clammy feeling
Treatment and Preventive Measures
1)	Avoid smoking and over indulging in food or alcohol.
2)  	Do not wear tight or constrictive garments such as 

3)    	Reduce the amount of fats, deep fried foods, spices, 

	coffee, tea, tomato based foods, chocolate, citrus 

	fruits and juices.
4)	Eat smaller meals, lose weight if you are overweight, 

	don't bend over, lie down or exercise immediately 

	after eating.
5)	Elevate the head of bed 4-6 inches with blocks.
6)	Do not recline for one hour after heavy meals, and eat dinners at least 2-3 hours before 

	going to bed.
7)	Limit your intake of coffee, tea, alcohol and colas. Seek medical help if:
 	· swallowing becomes more difficult

 	· persistent heartburn and vomiting blood

 	· symptoms of heartburn with chest pain and shortness of breath

	January, 1995