Recalibrating Healthcare Needs as You Age

Like any other piece of finely tuned equipment, the human body needs maintenance and care throughout its life. Also like any mechanism that is continually encountering various stresses and having to perform new functions, the type of maintenance the human body needs will change over time.

Childhood and early youth are the time of quickest growth and development, and from around the beginning of one’s 20s, every adult needs to perform some routine health inspection. Some introspection into one’s health-related habits wouldn’t be out of place either.

Healthcare Needs in Your 20s

You may not realise that when you hit your early 20s, your lifestyle will already impact the quality of your health for the rest of your life. How you lead your life in your 20s will have a significant effect on the quality of your life in old age. This particular decade can be a golden opportunity for you to create a strong foundation for a secure and happy life in your later years.

First of all, it would be wise for you to obtain insurance coverage earlier in life rather than later. When you’re in your 20s, there will be a wide variety of insurance plans to choose from. You can purchase the plan that best accommodates your needs and is convenient for both your pocketbook and your schedule.

At this stage, you will most probably be looking for an insurance plan that carries low premiums while covering you from any catastrophe that might just leave you bankrupt.

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The second healthcare activity that you should take action on now is the selection of a medical professional who is well suited to be your family doctor. Your family doctor should be well acquainted with your health history, the current state of your health and any conditions you may have. Your doctor will be responsible for assessing your general health on a regular basis.

This is because of important aspects of your health – like BMI (body mass index), cholesterol level, blood sugar, blood pressure and thyroid level – need to be monitored throughout your life. Women need to be screened regularly for breast cancer and cervical cancer. You need to be screened for STDs before getting married and having children.

It is also your doctor’s responsibility to immunise you by issuing the necessary vaccinations. Specifically, you will be due to having HPV and tetanus vaccines from the age of 20 onwards.

Finally, you need to escape from any bad habits which may potentially harm your health. For instance, stop smoking, excessively drinking alcohol and eating large quantities of junk food. You should start consuming 1,000 IU of vitamin D and 1,200 mg of calcium at a minimum each day to prevent osteoporosis.

Healthcare Needs By Age - Analysis Decades By Decades

Additionally, it is important that you regularly engage in physical activity, whether it just be walking in the park, participating in sports events or becoming an active member of a gym/sports club. Physical activity will enhance your cognitive function, agility, and concentration, and prevent chronic diseases.

Healthcare Needs in Your 30s

During your 30s it’s vital that you carry on with everything you did during your 20s that helped you meet your healthcare needs. However, you need to focus more on some specific components of these practices as well. You need to maintain your weight because after the age of 35 it becomes very challenging for a woman to lose any extra gained pounds.

The best way to tackle extra pounds that will be sneaking up is by exercising. Although it may be difficult to find the time to exercise regularly, you must resolve to become physically active in spite of the time pressures. When it comes to your insurance plan, remember to upgrade it. You will now need to choose a plan that may carry a higher premium but which offers a more elaborate range of health coverage.

It’s best not to tie yourself to your spouse’s insurance plan but instead, focus on a plan that suits your current and future health conditions. Whenever you go to the doctor, you should also concentrate on any potential internal diseases that you may be susceptible to. You must also focus on getting an ideal amount of rest.

This means you need to get a good night’s sleep every night, no matter how hectic your life may be. If you have trouble doing this, seek help from your family doctor. Share your menstrual details with your doctor if you start finding a drastic change or any complications with your cycle.

If you are thinking of having children, make sure you seek advice from your doctor beforehand and plan the necessary steps. By doing so, you’ll be sure to get all the support you need.

Healthcare Needs in Your 40s, 50s, and 60s

After marking that big 40th birthday, you need to focus on specific aspects of your health. Now is the turning point where your health may start to deteriorate, or severe chronic diseases will start appearing. High blood pressure, cardiovascular complications, and diabetes will typically pop up in this age range.

You’ll need to pursue more intense cancer screenings like, for example, colonoscopy. This is why you may want to explore using specialists like a cardiologist or a radiologist rather than the family doctor in particular cases. Make sure you go to a gynaecologist for complete examinations as well.

Don’t be afraid to discuss pre- or post-menopause symptoms with your doctor or even a psychologist. This is because you will face massive changes, both physically and mentally, before and after menopause. Since your body will start to show weakness or vulnerability with ageing, make sure that you also get an annual flu vaccination.

Simple influenza can stimulate many other ailments (for example, pneumonia) which can compromise your health. Moreover, you need to increase your intake of vitamin B12 to a revised adequate level. Research indicates that it helps your body produce red blood cells and also strengthens memory.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).