There’s no hard and fast rule about how often seniors should see their health care providers. For most older adults, though, it’s a good idea to have at least one medical checkup a year. At that visit, a provider can review medications, check on health concerns, talk about lifestyle topics, and go over recommended tests. In this article, we uncover tips on how to avoid frequent hospital visits as you age. Keep reading to learn more.

How to Avoid Frequent Hospital Visits as You Age

Regular health care visits are the perfect opportunity to go over the medications an older adult takes — a key step in maintaining good health. It’s important for a health care provider to know about all of a senior’s medications, including prescription and nonprescription drugs, dietary supplements, and herbal medications. That way, the provider can identify any that could be interacting with one another, possibly causing health problems, and confirm that the medications are managing chronic illnesses effectively.

Going over any health concerns ─ even if they seem small ─ is also an essential part of a senior checkup. Symptoms such as memory loss, sleep problems, constipation, fatigue, or weight loss, for example, could point to underlying health problems that need to be evaluated. Or they might be side effects of medication that could be eliminated with a change in prescription.

Health care providers who see seniors also review lifestyle issues that affect how a person functions day to day. For example, it’s important that seniors are able to navigate their environment in a way that allows them to do what they want, interact with others, perform daily tasks without trouble, and stay healthy.

To help get a sense of that, a provider may ask questions about topics such as dressing and bathing. He or she will want to know if a senior has fallen at any point. A discussion of grocery shopping, cooking, and eating, as well as ease of movement, driving, typical routines, and social interaction, also can help the provider better understand how well a senior is managing daily life.

Preventive services are important for everyone, especially for older adults. This is because your risk for health problems increases as you age. By preventing problems, or identifying them early, you are more likely to live a longer, healthier, and more satisfying life.

What are preventive services?

Many physicians follow service guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This expert panel reviews research and advises doctors about which preventive services you need depending on your age, medical history, and family history. Preventive services include screenings, vaccinations, and health advice.

Learn if You’re at Risk for Disease

During a checkup, your doctor can find problems that might make you more likely to get sick in the future. A check of your family health history could flag risks for inherited conditions like cancer or diabetes, so you can get the screenings you need to catch them early.
Your doctor will also ask about your diet, fitness, sleep, and stress habits. If you’re not following guidelines in these areas, you’ll get advice on how to improve. And if you smoke or drink too much, your doctor can offer tips on how to quit.

Find Health Problems Early

Your doctor is more likely to find a health problem than you could on your own. Doctors are trained to know what symptoms mean. They can refer you for tests, send you to the right specialist, or recommend treatments.

Conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes often don’t cause symptoms early on. Checks of your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels can help your doctor spot the signs of these diseases early. Many diseases are easiest to treat when they’re caught in their early stages.

Get Up to Date on Tests and Screenings

Your doctor will go over your health history at each year’s visit. That should include a check of whether you’re on track with screening tests like colonoscopy or mammograms. The doctor will also let you know which vaccines you need, like shots for the flu, pneumonia, or shingles.

Gain More Control Over Chronic Conditions

Long-term conditions like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and asthma need day-to-day care. Your doctor will check in with you at each visit to make sure you have these diseases under good control. If not, the doctor can recommend changes to your diet or medication.

Often, it’s much cheaper to prevent diseases than to treat them. For example, if you quit smoking with your doctor’s help, your odds get lower for a heart attack, stroke, or cancer. Then you’ll be less likely to need expensive medicines or surgery. Weight loss advice can help you avoid diabetes or heart disease and the treatments they involve.

Understanding the Role of a Primary Care Physician for Aging Adults

Your primary care physician is the keeper of your health records. They can share your health history, test results, and list of medications with any other doctors and specialists you see. Having one person in charge can streamline your medical care. Each checkup gives you a chance to get to know your doctor better. A strong doctor-patient relationship is important. The trust you build will make it easier for you to talk about a personal subject if needed. You’ll also feel better about asking questions or taking advice from your doctor if problems arise in the future.

Regular checkups also give your doctor a chance to learn more about you. These visits will make your doctor more familiar with your health history, so they’ll be able to tell if you develop symptoms that are new or unusual for you. The more your doctor knows the more personalized care they can give you.

Your annual checkup is also an opportunity to discuss any mental health concerns you might have. It is important to talk to your doctor if you have been feeling depressed or anxious.

Preventive Services

More than half of adults 65 years of age and older are not up to date with the preventive services doctors recommend. Skipping these services can be dangerous. That’s because some diseases and conditions may not be found in time for effective treatment.

Many seniors don’t get these services because they’re concerned about cost. However, most insurance and Medicare plans cover all costs of preventive services.

The following preventive services are especially important for older adults.

Annual wellness exam

Visit your doctor once a year for a physical. They will measure your height, weight, and body mass index. Your doctor will talk with you about any medicines you’re taking, your eating habits, and your activity level. This exam is a good way to check your overall health.

Influenza vaccine

This yearly vaccine helps prevent influenza (the flu). Older adults should get this vaccine every year. Between 70 and 85% of the deaths from influenza are in people 65 years of age or older.

Pneumococcal vaccines

The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) are both important to help prevent pneumonia. For people who get pneumonia, they help prevent life-threatening complications. This is especially important for older adults since they are more likely to get pneumonia and its complications.

Breast cancer screening

The risk of getting breast cancer increases as you get older. More than 40% of all new breast cancer cases are in women 65 years of age and older. Women between the ages of 50 and 74 should have a mammogram every two years to screen for breast cancer. Depending on your breast cancer risk factors, your doctor may recommend you have a mammogram more often.

Colorectal cancer screening

60% of new colorectal cancer cases are in adults 70 years of age and older. The AAFP recommends screening for colorectal cancer with fecal immunochemical tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy starting at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years. The risks, benefits, and strength of supporting evidence of different screening methods vary. Your doctor can discuss options for the type of screening test best for you.

Cholesterol screening

High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Men 35 years of age and older and women 45 years of age and older should have their cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis. Men and women 20 years of age and older who have risk factors for heart disease should also be tested. Cholesterol levels are checked with a blood test.

Diabetes screening

Diabetes is very common in older adults. It affects one out of every four adults 65 years of age and older. If you are overweight or obese, your doctor may test you for diabetes, even if you don’t have symptoms.

High blood pressure screening

The possibility of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older. Your doctor will probably check this each time you are in the office, and at least once a year.

Osteoporosis screening

The risk of osteoporosis increases as you get older. Women who are 65 years of age and older should be tested for osteoporosis. This test is called a bone mass (or bone density) test.

The likelihood of preventing hospital stays is reduced by regular doctor check-ups and consistent health screenings.


Being a family-owned business, the owners of Promedcare are engaged in the day-to-day operations and get to know both clients and caregivers on a first-name basis.  Having both owners and staff present vs. working remotely with our clients creates a feel of FAMILY and allows Promedcare to create an environment of care that reduces turnover and increases dedication to the brand.  We provide 24/7 service with the ability to interact with Senior Management and the owners as needed.

Promedcare has evolved into a caring business that focuses on individuals’ specific needs and preferences. This type of care fosters independence, happiness, and a sense of familiarity by acknowledging older individuals’ desire to age in the comfort of their own homes.

For some, it’s to provide extensive ongoing care for an aging senior. For others, we offer a much-needed break or, respite care – such as a night out with a spouse, vacation, or simply a few hours of quiet time at home – for family members who provide regular care. We offer a wide range of care services customized for each individual client.

Promedcare services include Personal Care Services, Companion Care Services, Dementia / Alzheimer’s Care Services, and Respiratory Solutions.

Contact us today to see how Prodmedcare can help you!