Diabetes is a disease that impacts the body’s ability to properly convert blood sugar into the energy the body needs. It can occur because the pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to handle the amount of blood sugar or because the body cannot effectively use insulin. When there is too much sugar in the blood, it can damage blood vessels and tissues, which can lead to dangerous complications. Knowing whether your elderly parent is at risk for diabetes can help you to reduce the risks and watch for signs of the disease.
What Are the Risk Factors?
There are many things that can increase your parent’s risk for developing diabetes. Unfortunately, one of them is age. The older a person gets, the greater the chance of getting diabetes. Experts suggest that one of the reasons that age sometimes leads to diabetes is that seniors tend to slow down and don’t get as much exercise. The lack of exercise leads to weight gain and the loss of muscle tissue. Other risk factors for diabetes include:
- Weight: The reason that carrying excess weight can lead to diabetes is that fatty tissue makes cells resistant to insulin.
- Lack of Exercise: Not only does exercise help seniors to prevent weight gain, it also uses blood sugar for energy and makes the body’s cells more receptive to insulin.
- Family History: If your parent has a close family member, like a sibling, with diabetes, they are at greater risk for getting it, too.
- Race: People of certain raises, such as African Americans and Hispanics, are at greater risk.
- Gestational Diabetes: Women who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy or who had babies that weighed more than 9 pounds at birth have a higher chance of developing diabetes.
- High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is associated with a greater risk of diabetes.
- Cholesterol and Triglycerides: People who have high triglycerides have an increased risk. Those with low levels of “good” cholesterol are also at risk.
How Can Elder Care Help Reduce the Risk of Diabetes?
If your parent has risk factors for developing diabetes, elder care can help them to lower those that can be modified. For example, an elder care provider can help older adults to be more physically active by inviting them to be involved in activities around the house, going for walks with them, or driving them to an exercise class. Elder care providers can also help with managing conditions, including high blood pressure, by reminding the senior to take medications prescribed by the doctor.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Lone Tree, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.