1 in 4 Seniors are Diagnosed with Diabetes
Did you know that roughly 25 percent of seniors have some sort of diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association? This number is expected to increase for those over the age of 60. If you know a senior with diabetes or at risk for diabetes, take a little time to learn more about this condition and how you can help your family member or friend improve their health.
The More You Know
Diabetes is an ailment that prevents one’s body from regulating sugars properly which can lead to elevated blood sugar and possibly other negative health risks. Sometimes it can worsen other conditions such as heart disease or kidney disease.
Symptoms to Watch Out For
Once diagnosed, diabetes is able to be effectively managed but it’s very important to seek help and maintain care. If you think you have diabetes or even if something feels off, it’s always a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor and get checked out. There are certain signs to be aware of. They can include: excessive thirst or hunger, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss and fatigue for Type 1 diabetes. For Type 2 diabetes, the symptoms can include the aforementioned plus wounds slow to heal, confusion, blurred vision, depression and numbness/tingling in hands or feet.
If you visit the doctor and are confirmed with a diagnoses, there are things to keep in mind. Ensure that you or your loved one is up to date on understanding their diagnosis and how to treat it. There will most likely be changes whether it’s for diet, exercise or medication. This may be a bit overwhelming so take the information in steps if needed.
Monitoring Glucose Levels
Once a diagnosis is revealed, many seniors will need to keep an eye on their glucose levels. Make sure the doctor gives precise instructions that are easy to follow. With medication, emphasize the importance of it. Missing a dose can have dramatic negative effects. Set reminders whether it’s with an alarm, a physical reminder or prompt in an obvious place.
Diet & Exercise
Finally, diet and exercise are integral when it comes to diabetes management. A low sugar diet is very important in helping to reduce symptoms. Check with the doctor about a senior meal plan. You can also check with wellness centers, senior centers or home health care providers for more information and plans.
As for exercise, 30 minutes of daily activity or at least five days a week is ideal. If this is too much, start with what is possible for the senior. Perhaps short bursts of activity in ten minute intervals is an easier start. Just make sure to check with your doctor regarding what is best for yourself.
One Day at a Time
When it comes to diabetes diagnosis and management, it’s important to take steps to ensure a healthier you. Take it in stride and do what you can. Our qualified at home care providers in Columbia can help with these medication reminders and help keep diabetes in check for your loved one. Schedule a consultation today!