As you approach your 50s, preventive health care becomes crucial to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life. Here are essential steps to take during your preventive care visits.

Vaccination is crucial for preventing severe infections and diseases in older adults

A diet rich in antioxidants and regular exercise can help maintain bone and muscle strength

Early screening for chronic diseases and mental health checks are essential for a better quality of life

Would you rather wait to fall ill and then visit a doctor for treatment of a serious disease that could have been prevented? Most likely not.

Immunisation through vaccinations is the most effective preventive route for infectious diseases such as shingles, influenza, pneumococcal diseases, and certain non-infectious diseases, such as some types of cancers.

We have all received childhood vaccinations, which laid the foundation for a healthy future. Now, those of us who are reaching our 50s and entering what are euphemistically called the ‘golden years’ need to ensure that preventable diseases do not dull the gold.

Visiting a doctor for preventive care can help you enjoy your golden years to the fullest with minimal medications. Plan your preventive care visits now.

Here are five things you need to check with your doctor during preventive care visits to minimise pill-popping in your 50s and 60s:


Vaccination is not just for children. As you age, your immunity declines, increasing your risk for infections such as pneumococcal diseases, influenza, and shingles. Infections in ageing years tend to be severe because the body cannot recover quickly.

Shingles, for example, can cause severe debilitating pain for several months or years, and hospitalisation may be required for infections like pneumonia.

Vaccination can save you from prolonged treatment and the physical, mental, and economic burden of these infections.

The immunity acquired through childhood vaccinations for diseases such as diphtheria and whooping cough also diminishes, necessitating booster doses.

Ask your doctor about the vaccinations for shingles, pneumonia, influenza, diphtheria, and whooping cough.


Evidence shows that a diet rich in antioxidants, such as colourful fruits and vegetables, fish, seeds and nuts, and increased protein, can help prevent symptoms of ageing like skin damage, cognitive and memory decline.

A balanced intake of proteins, calcium, and vitamin D is required to maintain bone and muscle strength. Talk to your doctor about the foods you need to incorporate into your diet. They may also recommend some food supplements or suggest you consult a nutritionist if required.


Aerobic exercises increase the heart rate and help your body make maximum use of oxygen. These exercises use large muscle groups, follow a rhythm, and can be maintained continuously for at least 20 to 30 minutes.

Cycling, dancing, hiking, jogging, running, swimming, and speed walking are all aerobic exercises.

They help improve your heart health and help prevent diabetes. Resistance training, also known as strength training, done at least twice a week along with aerobic exercises, is recommended to maintain your bone and muscle strength.

Take your doctor’s approval for the exercise regimen and preferably do it under the guidance of a physical therapist.


Early detection of chronic diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer helps improve prognosis. At an early stage, complications can be prevented, and quality of life can be maintained.

However, most chronic diseases show no symptoms or vague symptoms in the early stages, making screening important. Talk to your doctor about the screening tests and their frequency.


As you near retirement, you may experience a turbulence of emotions. You may feel lonely or anxious. This is a time when the risk of depression is high. Talk to your doctor if you feel sad or anxious. They will be able to guide you to the right counsellor if required.

Taking these preventive steps can help you maintain your health and enjoy your golden years to the fullest. Plan your preventive care visits and talk to your doctor about these important health checks.


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