Home Care Blog | July 5, 2016
In Home Care and Managing Diabetes | Having diabetes is not easy, and being a senior with diabetes can be even more difficult. If your senior loved one is facing the challenge of diabetes, know that you and they are not alone. There are close to 26 million Americans with diabetes, and there are more seniors with this disease that any other demographic. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 seniors over the age of 60 suffers from this disease.
Most seniors have what is called Type 2 diabetes. With this form of diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin to manage the body’s sugar intake, or it no longer uses the insulin it does make, properly.
The risks of diabetes, especially in seniors, are serious. In addition to the direct complication of elevated blood sugar, diabetes can lead to high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease, blindness, and nerve damage, which can lead to amputations.
According to the American Diabetes Association, the cornerstone of diabetes management is lifestyle modification, which includes a proper diet and exercise. In home care aides can be essential in your senior loved one’s quest to make these adjustments.
For example, many seniors struggle with the planning and preparation of healthy food choices. They don’t only have diabetes, but they also have osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or other mobility issue or pain factors that they are dealing with. In home care associates are able to assist your senior loved one with their food choices, the preparation of nutritious, diabetic-friendly meals, and even the shopping.
Smoking is bad for everybody, and it increases the risks of numerous severe medical conditions. For seniors with diabetes, smoking dramatically increases the risk of heart disease and vision loss. Smoking cessation and the avoidance of second-hand smoke is a critical element of controlling senior diabetes and its complications. In home care aides can help your loved one get to support groups, make good choices, find alternative activities, and provide emotional support.
Perhaps the greatest thing a senior with diabetes can do is to increase their physical activity. Not only does this help keep the weight down, but it makes it easier to keep blood glucose levels down, which regulates blood pressure, helps lower cholesterol levels, and lowers stress and stress-related problems. Many times seniors are afraid to exercise because they are afraid of falling. In home care personnel can provide the support and assistance needed to increase your loved one’s feelings of safety and security.
In short, diabetes is a serious disease. However, with lifestyle modification and in home care support, your senior loved one can manage their diabetes and live a full and complete life.