Living with diabetes doesn’t have to be hard. Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in The United States. It’s estimated that just under 10% of the entire population—or about 29 million people—are living with diabetes. Over 25% of seniors 65 and older are struggling with the disease. However, new research shows that seniors with diabetes are living better (and longer) lives specifically because they’re taking better care of themselves. In fact, seniors with diabetes are enjoying significantly more years and years free from disabilities caused by diabetes than ever before.
Why the Change?
Health officials are crediting these better and longer lifespans to increased public awareness about diabetes, improved medical treatments for the disease, and a willingness on the part of seniors and their caregivers to make significant positive changes in their lifestyles.
5 Tips for Living with Diabetes
1) Get Diagnosed
It’s estimated that almost 30% of people with diabetes don’t know they have it. If you don’t know, you can’t treat it. It’s essential to speak with a medical provider about testing. (The Mayo Clinic wants you to know the symptoms of diabetes.)
2) Eat Better
Many seniors in the early stages of diabetes may be able to treat their disease without medication. One of the most powerful tools to combat diabetes is a healthier diet. Low-sugar diets high in natural fruits and vegetables and low in carbohydrates and processed foods can make a dramatic improvement in blood sugar regulation—eliminating dangerous spikes and troughs. Speak with a medical professional or dietician about how you can create healthy meal plans and more.
3) Stay Active
While it may be difficult for seniors to exercise, staying active is yet another way to stave off the harmful physical effects of diabetes. Regular exercise helps shed extra pounds (which makes blood sugar regulation easier) and trains the body to make better use of nutrients.
4) Check blood Sugar Regularly
Many seniors—especially those on a fixed income—may be tempted to limit the number of times per day they check their blood glucose levels. But accurate numbers are the best way to fine tune treatments. If testing supplies are too expensive, speak with your doctor about assistance programs or lower cost options.
5) Be Aware
It’s absolutely essential that family caregivers be aware of how a senior is treating their diabetes. Speak with them about how often they’re testing blood sugars, whether they have enough medication on hand, whether they’re able to contact emergency services quickly if needed, and how you can help make their life with diabetes easier.
Second Family Home Care Providers Can Help
If you need a helping hand caring for a loved one with diabetes, the caring individuals at Second Family Home Care can provide essential non-medical in-home services. These include running errands, taking seniors to and from appointments, medications reminders, meal prep and more.
Contact Second Family Home Care to see how we can help make living with diabetes easier. Call (972) 347-0700 today.