Type 1 diabetes, which used to be called “juvenile diabetes” or “insulin-dependent diabetes,” develops most often in young people; however, the disease can also develop in adults, according to NIH Senior Health. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces insufficient amounts of insulin, a hormone needed to allow glucose to enter cells and produce energy, according to Mayo Clinic. The percentage of Americans age 65 and older diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is relatively high at 25.9 percent, or 11.8 million seniors, according to data provided by the American Diabetes Association.
Type 1 diabetes risk factors include:
- Family history. Anyone with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition.
- Genetics. The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
- Geography. The incidence of type 1 diabetes tends to increase as you travel away from the equator. People living in Finland and Sardinia have the highest incidence of type 1 diabetes – about two to three times higher than rates in the United States and 400 times the incidence among people living in Venezuela.
- Age. Although type 1 diabetes can appear at any age, it appears at two noticeable peaks. The first peak occurs in children between 4 and 7 years old, and the second is in children between 10 and 14 years old.
Type 1 diabetes signs and symptoms generally include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Bedwetting in children who previously didn't wet the bed during the night
- Extreme hunger
- Unintended weight loss
- Irritability and other mood changes
- Fatigue and weakness
- Blurred vision
- In women, a vaginal yeast infection
However, seniors with type 1 diabetes are also likely to suffer the following conditions:
- Depression. The risk of depression is higher in elderly diabetics. They may feel socially isolated, and they may have suffered the loss of other loved ones.
- Falling. Elderly diabetics have a high risk of falling due to diabetes-related complications such as visual problems, loss of sensation in the feet and dizziness from low blood sugar.
- Urinary incontinence. Incontinence can be caused by low blood sugar or other correctable problems.
- Memory problems. The elderly diabetic may not be able to remember to check blood sugar on time or take medications.
- Pain. Elderly people with diabetes often suffer from undiagnosed or under-treated pain.
Common complications of type 1 diabetes for seniors include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, visual impairment and more. Caring for an elderly person with type 1 diabetes requires in-depth knowledge and management tactics, and can be quite draining. Are you and your senior parent affected by type 1 diabetes? Do you have the time and resources to effectively manage your loved one’s disease?
Synergy HomeCare Corona/Riverside caregivers can help you and your loved one successfully manage type 1 diabetes, from medication reminders to healthy meal preparation to exercise encouragement. We know that mobility, energy levels and other age-related conditions make tackling and managing type 1 diabetes a difficult task, and our trained professionals can help put your mind at ease by helping your loved one lower the risk of these life-threatening complications.
About SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside
Synergy HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside is the name you can trust in Corona, Norco, Riverside, Chino, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar for personal home care. Synergy HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age. Synergy HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more. Synergy HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at /agencies/ca/corona/ca18/. The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 951-280-9808 and [email protected] .