Diabetes can affect people of all ages. According to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the CDC, 34.2 million Americans currently suffer from this disease. That’s roughly one in ten individuals, and think about that for a minute — it could even be someone you know!
Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body’s inability to either produce insulin (known as Type I diabetes) or use insulin effectively (known as Type II diabetes). Around 90% to 95% of diabetics have Type II diabetes, which is increasing at an alarming rate. There is no cure yet, however, careful diabetes management can allow afflicted individuals to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilled life.
There are three factors crucial to effectively managing life with diabetes: proper diet, exercise, and medication adherence. Since diabetes affects the body’s insulin production or usage, a healthy diet is essential in keeping blood sugar levels in the target range. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can have serious consequences for diabetic patients, which is why diet and medication adherence is important. Diabetes medication promotes healthy blood sugar levels and decreases the risk of health issues related to diabetes, such as strokes, kidney damage, heart problems, etc. Regular exercise also helps to improve blood sugar levels and promotes heart health through weight management.
As people with diabetes get older, simple things like eating well, getting enough exercise, and taking medication become more difficult. Let’s dive a little more into this issue, so you can get a better understanding of how to care for someone with diabetes.
- Diet Management: More often than not, older adults and seniors have a limited budget with which to buy groceries and limited transportation to the grocery store. If their access to fresh fruits and vegetables decreases, how can they ensure a healthy diet for themselves? Moreover, those who develop dementia may completely forget how to eat properly.
- Exercise Management: It’s hard to work out when you’re not young and spry. Older adults have limited mobility, weaker muscles and joints, and an increased risk of falling that could lead to serious injuries.
- Medication Management: Once again, limited budget and transportation options may affect medication adherence in seniors. Plus, it’s easy to mix up medications or forget to take them altogether.
Helping Hand Nursing Services can help increase the quality of life for older adults with diabetes through in-home care services. We are the only home care agency in Polk County licensed to provide both non-medical and medical services, so our nurses can legally administer insulin shots to patients. If you or a loved one with diabetes requires home care services, contact us to learn more.