As Americans age, they are often vulnerable to illnesses that threaten their quality of life. Preventative screenings and regular immunizations are critical tools to protect seniors from unnecessary illness. However, a new government study shows that many older adults are putting their health in serious jeopardy by not getting the services they need to prevent disease.
According to a report by several U.S. Department of Health and Human Service agencies, few seniors are getting recommended pneumococcal vaccinations against influenza, bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and meningitis. Elderly Americans are also inadequately screening for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis.
This trend is most prevalent among elderly minority groups. More than half of all Hispanic seniors and nearly half of all African-American and Asian seniors have never received recommended immunizations or preventive screenings.
It is quite clear that the aging population is steadily growing, yet these proven clinical services remain severely underutilized. The report suggests that many older adults may not be aware of the services that are recommended for their age group, or they may not know that the services are covered by Medicare. Seniors need to take their health into their own hands and take preventative measures to ensure a long and healthy life.