If you are a senior living with diabetes or someone caring for the patient, you know managing the condition is not easy. You have to take care of everything from making healthier lifestyle choices to taking the medication on time.
Managing diabetes in seniors is crucial to prevent other severe diabetes complications, such as urinary incontinence, polypharmacy, physical disability, depression, and cognitive dysfunction.
According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 10% of the American population is diabetic. That percentage is equivalent to 34.2 million people in the United States. The elderly, without a doubt, are the most affected.
Have a look at these 7 practical ways of managing diabetes in seniors:
1. Stay Active
Staying physically active is imperative for effective diabetes management. You can opt for bicycling, swimming, walking, or some form of aerobic exercise. The key is to be consistent, 5 days a week – 30 minutes a day.
If it helps, split those 30 minutes into 3 sets of 10 minutes each. Moreover, you can include a bit of strength training exercises such as practicing yoga and lifting free weights – at least twice a week.
2. Never Miss Medication
Never miss your medication – that goes without saying. However, patients suffering from more than one chronic condition, including diabetes, find it challenging to manage.
If you are facing a similar situation, it’s best to set reminders and organize your medicines in one place. Use a phone, clock, watch, or computer to set the alarms.
Whatever floats your boat!
3. Check Blood Glucose Level
This may seem like one of the most obvious and practical ways of managing diabetes in seniors, but it’s not uncommon to miss that either.
Diabetic patients are at an increased risk of stroke. All the more reason why you should monitor your glucose level regularly.
Your care specialist will guide you on how you can do it at your home. Medications tend to lower your blood glucose level – sometimes lower than normal.
Regular monitoring will protect you from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), the symptoms of which include sweating, hunger, dizziness, and confusion.
4. Eat Healthily
The importance of maintaining a healthy diet for elderly diabetic patients cannot be stressed enough. It’s no secret that diabetes is an epidemic.
By consulting a registered dietician and sticking to a proper meal plan, you can manage diabetes effectively, even prevent it.
A professional will help you plan a low-sugar diet, which involves avoiding fruits with naturally high sugar content.
5. Get Vaccinated
Did you get vaccinated this fall?
For diabetic patients, seasonal flu can complicate things further. The current pandemic poses an even more significant threat to diabetic patients.
Therefore, you must get vaccinated, especially for pneumonia.
6. Educate Yourself
When it comes to managing diabetes in the elderly, lack of education has been one of the most significant barriers.
Educating yourself about the illness is the first step towards achieving better health outcomes.
Authoritative medical sites such as the American Diabetes Association and Mayo Clinic are important resources to find all relevant information.
7. Seek Professional Help
Managing diabetes in seniors can be made a lot easier by seeking professional help. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out as chronic care management can greatly simplify your life.
The care specialists at AdvantagePlusNurses can:
- Schedule your medication
- Educate about diabetes
- Monitor your blood glucose
- Manage your vaccination records
- Plan your diet
- Counsel on staying physically fit
Apart from that, it always feels a lot better to join support groups. Being a part of a community is essential to stay mentally fit while dealing with a chronic disease like diabetes.