Approximately one in five seniors in Canada is diagnosed with diabetes. The vast majority of these are Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, where the body is unable to use insulin the right way. For seniors, Type-2 Diabetes is a disease that can emerge, along with an increase of other issues that can pose some serious complications to their health. Complications from diabetes can include nerve damage, eye damage, and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. Thankfully, there are healthy habits seniors can adopt to reduce the symptoms of diabetes.
Monitor and Manage Blood Sugar
Seniors should monitor blood sugar levels daily with an at-home blood glucose meter. Your doctor can advise on the ideal blood glucose (sugar) level and how often blood sugar should be measured. Set an alert and keep the blood testing meter in a convenient location to make it easier to monitor blood sugar levels.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
There are many compelling reasons to maintain a healthy nutritious diet, and minimizing complications from diabetes is just one. Seniors can minimize the effects of diabetes by consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet full of natural, whole foods. As sugar, starchy foods, carbs, saturated fat and cholesterol all directly related to blood sugar levels, they should be avoided. Consult with your loved one’s doctor to come up with a healthy eating plan. An in-home caregiver can assist with meal scheduling and meal preparation to make things easier on the family.
When physically active, the body uses glucose. This, in turn, helps to lower your blood sugar levels. Every bit of physical activity counts, including walking, swimming, stretching, and yoga.
Keep Track of Medication
When taking a variety of different medications, it can be a serious challenge to just keep track. If your loved one is prescribed medication to help manage diabetes, pill organizers and alert apps can help make sure no dosage is missed. Your loved one may also require insulin to help manage the symptoms. An in-home caregiver can follow the doctor’s lead and provide assistance with medications.
Living with Type-2 Diabetes doesn’t have to hinder daily life for you or your loved one. By staying active, eating healthy, managing blood sugar levels, and sticking to the medication schedule, seniors with diabetes can continue to lead healthy lives for many years to come.
If you have any further questions about living with Type-2 Diabetes or would like to learn more about how Qualicare Family Homecare can assist with diabetes management, please get in touch at 613.366.2899.