Regular Screening – The True Gift of Health
As Father’s Day approaches, ads and media messaging everywhere are telling us that Dads might love this athletic wear, or those new power tools, or new headphones, or an iPad. And, these gifts will make Dad or any paternal figure in your life happy. However, if you are looking for a true gift with lasting health benefits to ensure many more Father’s Days with your old man, consider reaching out to Dad to discuss the importance of regular health screenings.
Progressive health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s are among the leading causes of premature death in men across the United States. These numbers are sobering but highlight the importance of regular health screenings. Hopefully, this challenging conversation can result in the optimistic outcome of early diagnosis and intervention.
The topic of yearly physicals is a cause for debate.
- Some physicians feel that yearly physicals for healthy patients are not necessary. The idea of having a yearly physical can be stressful or too time-consuming. Instead, these physicians think that younger, generally healthy patients can be exempt from a yearly physical.
- On the other hand, some physicians argue that yearly physicals can alert patients to early signs of progressive diseases. Yearly physicals also create benchmarks for a patient’s general health that physicians can use for their assessment.
- Both groups agree that elderly patients and those with a family history of hereditary illness should have regular, and yearly check-ups.
The following conditions are important to note in your loved one’s family medical history:
- Heart disease or stroke
- High blood pressure
- Prostate cancer
- Colorectal cancer
If these, or other genetic conditions exist, having a conversation with your dad about the need for scheduling yearly physicals is essential. If they are wary or dislike going to the doctor, here are a few tips to help:
- Offer support by asking to book the appointment for them
- Arrange to go with them or wait nearby during their appointment
- Call the doctor’s office ahead of time to get details on what the appointments entail. This will help prepare them for it beforehand
- Introduce visualization or breathing techniques if doctor’s offices make them nervous
Common Conditions and Symptoms
It is helpful to familiarize yourself and your loved one with the early symptoms or warning signs of serious health conditions. Although it can be unnerving to read this list, it is very important to have a general idea of what to expect. Early diagnosis and intervention are the best defense against progressive health conditions.
Heart Disease and Stroke Symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Continued indigestion or heartburn
- Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion or difficulty speaking
- Sudden difficulty with their vision
- Heavy thirst
- Blurry visions
- Urgent and frequent urination
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
High Blood Pressure Symptoms:
- Severe headaches and nosebleeds
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat or chest pain
- Vision problems
Prostate Cancer Symptoms:
- Frequent and/ or urgent urination
- Blood in urine
- Difficulty starting or stopping urination
- Sudden erectile dysfunction
Colorectal Cancer Symptoms:
- Persistent change in bowel habits
- Blood in stool
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain, cramping, and/ or bloating
- Forget recent conversations, events, names of people or places, and words
- Misplace common items frequently
- Ask repetitive questions
- Makes uncharacteristic or unexplained sudden decisions
- Small tremor or shaking in hands or face
- Changes in handwriting, or difficulty performing tasks requiring fine motor skills
- Trouble walking or moving – indicates stiffness in joints
- Difficulty with balance and coordination
*: Symptoms listed are general indications recommended for follow-up with a physician. Symptoms vary by patient and are not limited to the ones listed above*
Early Intervention and Care
So, you’re familiar with the symptoms and something stands out. You take your dad for a check-up and suddenly there’s a diagnosis. The big question – what next? Your doctor will put together a care plan depending on the diagnosis. Most early stages of any condition can typically be managed at home with family support. Medication, any necessary therapy, or treatments, and required diet and lifestyle changes are manageable. Long-term planning will require you and your family to think about your loved one’s condition with pragmatism.
Many of these progressive conditions are typically categorized as at mild, moderate, and severe levels.
- The mild or early stages as described can be managed at home with a combination of family care and in some instances, hourly in-home care as needed.
- Moderate to severe stages usually require daily in-home hourly care or live-in care to help provide support.
It can be difficult to think of your loved one requiring 24/7 care, but the timely intervention of professional caregivers can help limit the progression of many conditions. Caregivers ensure that medications, physical activities, and dietary and lifestyle requirements are being fulfilled. They also provide companionship and support to your loved ones.
At Care Mountain, we are experienced in providing in-home care support. Our 17-year tenure in-home care having served over 3000 families in Dallas and Fort Worth enables us to best help address your home care needs. Our expert caregivers understand the multifaceted care that progressive conditions require. Our thorough hiring process and extensive background checks ensure quality caregivers across all specialties. We provide support across the DFW Metroplex across most parts of Dallas, Preston Hollow, Dallas, Highland Park, Southlake, Plano, Allen, Arlington, McKinney, and Fort Worth. Contact us, when you’re ready, to see how we can provide 24 /7 care to help you and your loved ones.