Tools for managing diabetes in the elderly require us to look closely at lifestyle habits. Diabetes is a health condition when the body does not produce enough insulin (or use it in the right way) to break down the sugars in your body. This results in your body not being able to absorb the sugar, also called glucose, that it needs for energy to function properly.
There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Children more often diagnosed with Type 1. While Type 1 is incurable it’s also less common than Type 2. This article will focus on the more common and curable, Type 2.
According to the CDC, about 12 million Americans (age 65+) suffer from diabetes. Get to know the symptoms, risks, and prevention tools available to you.
Risk factors in the Elderly
The elderly are at the greatest risk for developing Type 2 diabetes simply because they have been alive the longest. The tools for managing diabetes in the elderly are part of a larger comprehensive approach to care. High blood sugar levels, limited access to healthy food choices, a sedentary lifestyle, and a predisposition to obesity are all risk factors for diabetes.
Experts agree that family history + lifestyle choices determine your personal diabetes outcome!
Do you suspect that you or your aging loved one may have diabetes? Here is a shortlist of the most common symptoms (this is not a comprehensive list):
- Blurred vision
- Always feeling very tired
- Always feeling very hungry
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Tingling, pain, or numbness in hands and/or feet
- Wounds are slow to heal
- Areas of dark skin, typically around the neck and armpits
It’s important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor.
Associated Risks with Type 2 Diabetes
People with Type 2 have a higher risk of developing heart disease and the many related symptoms that come with it. It’s important that you and your doctor work together to control your diabetes, as uncontrolled diabetes can damage the artery walls and contribute to coronary heart disease. Meaning the tools for managing diabetes in the elderly can have a direct impact on overall health.
People who are overweight or have a genetic predisposition to heart disease need to be extra aware of the food they are eating and their activity levels. People may also develop serious problems with their eyes and kidneys and experience nerve damage that can result in amputation. They are also at a higher risk for cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Prevention Tools for Managing Diabetes in the Elderly
Type 2 is 100% preventable! Organizations around the world are leading the effort to educate people on the prevention and management of Type 2 because so many people suffer from it. Preventing Type 2 is simple, but not necessarily easy.
The key is maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is by eating healthy foods and exercising consistently. Taking walks, jogging, water aerobics, yoga, Silver Sneakers classes, and lifting weights are all great options to keep blood sugar levels low.
Encourage the elderly to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, limit convenience or prepared foods, and to drink water and tea instead of soda and juice. If you are looking for assistance or advice in the care of the senior in your life, Nestvy offers comprehensive and simple senior and home care solutions for you and your family. Best of all, our services are always free to you. You may easily contact us anytime here.