|Besides a healthy diet and regular exercise, for aging adults, health screenings are the best way to stay healthy. Some of these tests are less well known than others. For example, for many years, hearing loss in older adults has been considered an unfortunate but inconsequential part of aging. Recent studies have shown, however, that hearing loss doesn’t just affect a person’s quality of life; it may also lead to a decline in cognitive functions. That’s why hearing tests are essential, says Kelley Hamilton of Bonaventure Senior Living.|
As the chief executive officer for the company, Kelley Hamilton of Bonaventure knows seniors must be active participants in their own health and wellness. Fortunately, says Kelley Hamilton of Bonaventure, screenings can detect early physical changes that may indicate a developing problem. Recently, Kelley Hamilton of Bonaventure discussed the importance of proactive health care for seniors with the staff of Oceans 2003.
Oceans 2003: Thank you for joining us today.
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: Thank you for having me.
Oceans 2003: What are some of the well-known tests for seniors?
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: Breast cancer screening, for example, is very well known. There is a whole month dedicated to the importance of early detection.
Oceans 2003: Mammograms are crucial in early breast cancer detection. Is a mammogram truly the best method available for detecting breast cancer?
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: Yes. One of the most recent advances in early breast cancer detection is the use of digital mammography.
Oceans 2003: What benefits does this technology offer women?
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: Digital mammography is twice as fast as conventional film-based mammography. It also produces images that are much clearer and more detailed.
Oceans 2003: Hearing loss commonly affects older adults. What effects do hearing problems have on seniors?
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: Hearing problems can make it hard to understand a doctor’s advice. They can make it hard to hear doorbells and alarms. They can also make it difficult to talk with family and friends.
Oceans 2003: Can hearing loss lead to isolation for seniors?
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: Yes, seniors with hearing loss may avoid friends and family because interaction becomes difficult or nearly impossible. All of this can be frustrating and embarrassing. Sometimes, socially isolated people develop cognitive disorders.
Oceans 2003: Can seniors with hearing loss develop dementia?
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, hearing loss and dementia are in fact linked.
Oceans 2003: Why is it that so many seniors ignore hearing tests since many are free?
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: Some ignore hearing loss and tests because it’s such a slow and insidious process that just happens to come with aging. Many believe it’s a normal part of getting older.
Oceans 2003: What other health screenings should be done regularly?
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: Blood pressure and cholesterol tests.
Oceans 2003: Why these two?
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: Blood pressure tests identify high blood pressure. High blood pressure has been referred to as the silent killer because it generally develops without any symptoms. Elevated total is a proven risk factor for developing heart disease and strokes.
Oceans 2003: How often should these tests be done?
Kelley Hamilton, Bonaventure CEO: A blood pressure test is a simple screening that should be done at a minimum of every two years. In reality, most people have this done much more frequently. The recommended frequency for having cholesterol checked is every five years, but more frequently if you are a man over 45, a woman over 50, or if you’ve had high cholesterol in the past.
As Kelley Hamilton of Bonaventure points out, health screenings may seem like a daunting task for many seniors, but they are worth the effort. Kelley Hamilton joined Bonaventure Senior Living in 2001. Kelley Hamilton and Bonaventure are proud of the company’s 96 percent approval rate. Kelley Hamilton of Bonaventure lives in Oregon.