Health Information Week: Important Health Tests for Senior Citizens

Inspired by Health Information Week, in this blog post we take a look at the important health tests the elderly should take. Find out all about them here.


Inspired by Health Information Week, in this blog post we take a look at the important health tests the elderly should take. Find out all about them here.

We all start to feel a little more fragile as we age. But knowing the important health tests to take as you grow older is a great way to catch ailments early, and generally to give yourself the best chance of staying healthy through preventative action.

So, with 5th-11th July being Health Information Week, we thought this was a great time to take a look at the important health tests the elderly should take.

Blood pressure

This list is ordered alphabetically, but even if it wasn’t this particular test would still be our first answer to anyone asking ‘What medical tests do I need at 65?’

Put simply, if your blood pressure is high, you’re more at risk of developing heart disease – which is one of the UK’s biggest killers.


Colorectal cancer is the UK’s fourth most prevalent form of cancer, and should be screened for every five years from the age of 50 if you have any family history of it whatsoever. The older you get, the greater your chances of developing it, so this is certainly one of the most important health tests the elderly should take.

Dental exam

Tooth decay can start to become a problem for most people in their thirties, so by the time you reach 65 you should definitely be doing twice-yearly check-ups with your dentist. They’ll also catch any jaw and bite problems, too.

Diabetes test

Old age, being overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle are all factors that increase your chances of developing diabetes. They’re also all factors that tend to go together. The more you age, the less active you’re likely to become and the higher your weight is likely to creep. That makes routine GP diabetes blood testing amongst the most important health tests for senior citizens.

Eye exam

old man getting an eye test

Like your teeth, your lenses can degrade as you get older. From 65 they’re much more likely to harden, stopping your vision from focusing like it used to. It can even lead to you now being able to drive any more. It’s always great to catch these things as early as possible, so make sure to visit your optician regularly – especially if you’re of pension age.

Hearing test (audiogram)

An audiogram is one of the most common important health tests for senior citizens simply owing to how common it is to lose your hearing as you age. The good news is it’s easy to check for – just visit your GP and they’ll get the ball rolling.


Women should check for lumps  on their breasts regularly from 40 years of age onwards; a practice that definitely doesn’t stop when you start collecting your pension In fact, from age 50 you should get a breast cancer screening every five years – which means by age 65 you should be on your fourth one.


Did you know osteoporosis (the condition that leads to brittle bones) affects twice as many people in the UK than dementia does? If you find yourself hurting far more than you used to after a fall, you may want to look into getting a bone density test.

Pap smear

Women are encouraged to get a pelvic exam every three years to screen for cervical cancer – and like the conditions already mentioned, it’s probably even more important to do so as you age. The fact that 99.8% of cases caught early enough are actualy treatable means this earns its spot on our list of the important health tests the elderly should take.

Prostate cancer screening

This is one of the most important health tests to take as you grow older if you’re a man. The chances of developing prostate problems of all kinds increase as you age, which can lead to the inability to urinate, and general discomfort around a very sensitive area. The chances are often high that those issues could turn out to be benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – a natural (but still troublesome) enlargement of the gland. That said, those same symptoms can also be a tell-tale sign of prostate cancer, which is actually the most common cancer in men.

Skin and mole check-up

older lady gets skin and mole examination

In the same way women are encouraged to check their breasts for lumps and men are encouraged to check their testicles, everyone should be mindful of checking their body for random skin tags or moles popping up in previously smooth areas of the body. Skin cancer is actually the most common cancer in the UK, so it pays to be watchful and visit your GP if you notice anything abnormal – especially as you get older.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) screening

The symptoms of a thyroid problem can be as low-key as general sluggishness, aches and pains or a little extra weight gain you may not have expected. It’s more likely to happen after 65 as well, which makes a GP-issued TSH blood test an important health test the elderly should take if they experience any of those issues.


We’re putting this one in because it’s so en vogue right now – and frankly, also because it’s crucially important to protect yourself from viruses when you have an aging immune system. Over 65s should have an annual flu shot, a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years, a pneumococcal disease jab to protect against pneumonia, and a shingles vaccination if you’ve never had one before.

Concerned about someone’s health?

Whether you’re over 65 yourself or you care for someone who is, we know having health problems can make the day-to-day that much harder. That’s why we offer a range of services to help and support anyone who needs it.

Check out our home care page to find out more, or get in touch to see how we can help you.