Managing Diabetes as Seniors Get Older

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Diabetes does tend to get worse as a person ages, but the reasons for this vary from one person to another. Your senior loved one should also know that it’s possible to implement lifestyle strategies that prevent diabetes from worsening. These tips can help you address the most common reasons diabetes gets worse so your loved one can figure out the best way to control the condition.

Explore Ways to Stay Active

A diet and exercise plan is one of the most essential components of managing diabetes. However, seniors often find it easier to watch what they eat than to stay active when their changing bodies make exercise challenging. Find out what’s keeping your loved one from working out so you can provide accommodations. For instance, having a caregiver accompany your loved one on a walk may help him or her overcome the fear of falling outdoors when alone. 

Even seniors who have mobility issues or health challenges can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Fort Myers elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Counteract a Changing Metabolism

Aging affects metabolism. In most cases, metabolism slows, but certain conditions such as thyroid disease can cause it to speed up. These fluctuations in metabolism affect how the body moderates blood sugar levels. If your loved one’s blood sugar begins to fluctuate wildly, have a thorough physical performed to find out if there’s an underlying reason related to metabolism. Often, managing the new health condition decreases the effects it has on diabetes.

Prevent illnesses and Injuries

Inflammation has a wide range of effects on the body, and healing from injuries and illnesses uses up energy that can impact metabolism. Encourage your loved one to follow basic hygiene practices such as avoiding crowds during flu season and washing his or her hands regularly. You can also check around the house for potential fall hazards that are correctable. An injury can generate inflammation in the body, and it can also stop your loved one from being able to do the exercise portion of his or her diabetes-management plan.

Find Out How New Medications Affect Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes can also worsen with age as seniors begin to take more medications to control other health issues. For instance, steroids are one class of drugs known to generate elevations in blood glucose levels. Always ask your loved one’s physician about the possible effects any new medication might have on the ability to control diabetes. Even over-the-counter medications may impact glucose levels, so be extra vigilant about monitoring your loved one’s health during any transition to using a new supplement or vitamin.

If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to monitor his or her reactions to medications closely, but a trained professional caregiver can do this and much more. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Fort Myers seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Maintain a Positive Mindset

Although research is still not clear on why it happens, people who experience increased stress sometimes find their diabetes worsens. This could be related to the effects of stress hormones on the body, since they can increase inflammation, or it could simply be that seniors who feel calm and relaxed are more likely to take better care of their health. Either way, help your loved one take steps to reduce the impact of stress on his or her health. Going out for coffee with a friend, getting enough sleep, and having events to look forward to all contribute to a better diabetes prognosis.

Diabetes is a common disease among seniors, and it’s crucial to effectively manage its treatment and replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones as seniors age. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Fort Myers senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at 239.449.4701 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.