Staying on Schedule: Screenings for Older Women
Taking care of yourself by having regular screenings is the first step in maintaining your health
Being watchful is the best way to catch a disease at its earliest stages. A screening test is used to check for the presence of a disease or disorder before you have any symptoms.
Some important tests for women as they age are screenings for:
- Heart health, including blood pressure, cholesterol and other lipids
- Bone density
- Colon cancer
- Mood (depression, anxiety)
- Presence of abuse
A schedule for recommended screenings for healthy older women:
- Every one to two years:
- Blood pressure
- Bone density
- Fecal occult blood (or colonoscopy, see below)
- Every three years
- Pap smear (Your doctor may recommend not taking a regular Pap smear if you are 65 or older and monogamous or are no longer sexually active, and you’ve had three normal Pap smears in a row.)
- Blood sugar (for those with a history of high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol)
- Every five years:
- Every ten years:
- Colonoscopy (if results from previous colonoscopy was normal)
Advice to help you make the most of your next doctor’s visit:
- Make a list
It’s easy to forget all of the things you wanted to discuss with your doctor, so make a list of everything that you want to cover. You can do this a day or two before your visit; this way you won’t miss the opportunity to give your doctor the full picture.
- Keep a medical diary
You may also consider keeping a diary of your symptoms, if you are experiencing a health problem. This can give you and you doctor a clear picture of the frequency and context of your problems. You may see a pattern (for example, maybe you always feel ill after you’ve eaten). This kind of information can be very helpful to your physician.
Keeping to your screening schedule is a great way to detect problems early. It can also bring you piece of mind.
More Information at Your Fingertips:
- To learn more about our free health and aging membership program for older adults and the people who care for them, visit the Rush Generations home page. Or call (800) 757-0202. Rush Generations can help you with your goals for vital, healthy living.
- For information on medical services for older adults, visit the Geriatric Services home page. Or call (800) 757-0202.
- Are you facing tough decisions as you or a loved one grow older? The Anne Byron Waud Patient and Family Resource Center for Healthy Aging offers help with your current needs and difficult questions. For more information, see their home page www.rush.edu/WaudCenter or phone (312) 563-2700 or (800) 755-4411.
- Looking for information on other health topics? Visit our Health Information home page.
- Looking for a doctor? Call toll free: 888 352-RUSH (7874)
Please note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.
If you enjoyed this article and are not already a subscriber, subscribe today to Discover Rush Online. You'll receive health information, breaking medical news and helpful tips for maintaining your health each month via e-mail.
Women’s Health Services at
Rush University Medical Center in Chicago
Rush University Medical Center offers comprehensive health care services for women of all ages.
At Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, medical science blends with a sincere commitment to provide women with the absolute finest, most compassionate care. Specialists and subspecialists work together to address the special needs of women, from common to complex to the everyday needs of women and their families.
We offer direct access to the latest innovations and options — from prenatal care for high risk pregnancies, to diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of abdominal and pelvic disorders, to leading-edge research.
For more information about health services and medical care for women at Rush visit the Women’s Health Services home page.
Looking for Other Health Information?
- Visit our Health Information home page.
- Visit Discover Rush’s Web Resource page to find articles on health topics and recent health news from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. You will also find many helpful links to other areas of our site.
Looking for a Doctor?
Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, is a leader in caring for people of all ages, from newborns through older adults.
Just phone (888) 352-RUSH or (888) 352-7874 for help finding the Rush doctor who’s right for you.