Diabetes is so prevalent in the senior community that it’s estimated around a third of all people over the age of 65 are living with the condition. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type to develop after the age of 40, and this condition occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or use it effectively enough to regulate the body’s blood sugar levels. Understanding why this happens along with how to prevent it helps you and your senior loved one employ diabetes prevention strategies.
Common Causes of Diabetes in Elderly People
Some people are genetically predisposed to getting diabetes. Your loved one may need to be concerned if the condition runs in his or her family or if he or she falls within a high-risk group. Simply aging can put seniors at higher risk, since the body’s functions tend to slow down over the years, and this could impact the functioning of the pancreas. Seniors who are sedentary or overweight may also have difficulty keeping their blood sugar regulated.
Ways to Prevent the Development of Diabetes
The simplest way to prevent diabetes is to live a healthy lifestyle. Seniors who have spent years eating unhealthy foods or being sedentary can see rapid gains in their health by cleaning up their diet and moving more every day. Your loved one may need to work with a nutrition specialist to learn how to manage prediabetes through diet. He or she may also need to implement an exercise plan or give up drinking alcohol to further boost his or her health.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
The Importance of Regular Screenings and Checkups
Screenings for diabetes can often catch the disease in the early stages. When seniors are diagnosed with prediabetes, they still have a chance to avoid developing full-blown diabetes. Encourage your loved one to be proactive and request a diabetes screening from the doctor. Your parent can then use things such as medication and lifestyle changes to prevent developing diabetes. Keep in mind that good results from screenings shouldn’t give seniors the false belief that they don’t have to eat healthy. Diabetes can develop at any time. Sticking to a healthy diet and exercise plan ensures those good results keep coming.
A professional caregiver with training in nutrition and exercise can be an outstanding source of support for your senior loved one. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Clearwater senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Tips to Manage a Diabetes Diagnosis
Some seniors do everything right and still get diabetes. Others may develop it by continuing to engage in unhealthy lifestyle practices. Either way, there’s still much that can be done to prevent seniors from developing complications from the condition. A diabetes diagnosis is a major wake-up call that includes the need to follow a treatment plan to manage the condition. Managing diabetes can require some trial and error in the early stages as your loved one learns what things can make his or her blood sugar fluctuate. However, medications, lifestyle changes, and regular checkups can all go a long way toward helping diabetic seniors avoid complications from their condition.
If you usually help your loved one manage his or her health but you need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Clearwater respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862.