Diabetes is one of the most widespread conditions in the United States. Roughly 1 in every 11 people have it. It rises dramatically as people get older, though; nearly 1 in every 4 of every senior citizen (65 or older) has diabetes.
Diabetes is caused by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. It isn’t curable, but it can be managed. People with diabetes need to watch their carbohydrate intake and monitor their blood sugar levels. It's a key part of senior nutrition and fitness.
They need to take any prescribed medication regularly.
In addition, the disease can be managed better and progress less severely if people with it exercise frequently.
Left untreated, diabetes can cause heart disease, stroke, vision problems or blindness, and nerve damage.
Since management and food intake is key, it is very important to make sure older people do manage their disease and watch their food intake. A home caregiver or companion can do a lot to make sure that the person with diabetes is treating themselves properly.
A home caregiver can make sure that any medications are taken regularly. A weekly planner divided by day can help an older person keep track of the medications.
Ensure that blood sugar is monitored regularly. Many people don’t like monitoring because it requires that a needle be briefly inserted in one’s finger. If that is an issue, the needle can also be in the palm just under the thumb. Also, the home caregiver or companion can do the needle stick and the reading. Many people feel more secure with a trained person doing it.
Be sure that the senior citizen with diabetes understands how important it is to monitor their blood sugar – food intake and medications can be adjusted based on the readings. It’s an advance warning system that will let you know if diabetes is progressing.
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