Many people develop diabetes as they get older. It happens when blood sugar levels get too high. High blood sugar can cause tissue damage and cause all kinds of complications, including vision loss, kidney problems, and heart disease. November is American Diabetes Month, a month dedicated to educating people about the dangers of diabetes, how to recognize the symptoms, and what can be done to prevent the disease. Because older adults are more likely to develop diabetes, it’s important for family caregivers to know the signs of the disease, so they can ensure their loved one gets medical attention as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that develops slowly. At first, there may be no noticeable symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms will appear. Some of the earliest symptoms that occur with diabetes are:
Urinating Often: Seniors with diabetes may urinate more often than they used to. This happens because the kidneys are working overtime to clear the extra sugar from the body. You may notice that they get up during the night to urinate more frequently.
- Excessive Thirst: The increased urination means more fluids are being drawn from cells. That can leave the older adult feeling very thirsty, so they will likely drink more than they used to.
- Fatigue: Cells need sugar to create energy. When they cannot use the sugar in the body, your aging relative may feel very tired.
- Hunger: The inability of the cells to use sugar can also make the older adult feel hungry all the time. Because the body uses food to make energy, the lack of energy can cause the older adult to feel hungry because the body is asking for more fuel.
- Blurred Vision: Excess sugar in the blood can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, making the senior’s vision blurry.
Living with Diabetes
Even if your older family member is diagnosed with diabetes, they can still continue to lead a full and active life. In fact, increasing their physical activity can help to control their blood sugar because it uses up excess sugar. There are many other ways to improve their health, and a home care provider can assist with many of them.
One important aspect of living with diabetes is eating a healthy diet that prevents a rise in blood sugar. A home care provider can help your aging relative to plan meals that fit into the eating plan suggested by the doctor or dietician. The home care provider can also prepare food for the senior. Other ways a home care provider can help to manage diabetes is by reminding the senior to take their medications, driving them to medical appointments, and helping them to manage other conditions that can contribute to diabetes, such as high blood pressure.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering homecare in Centennial, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today. Call us at (303) 756-9322.