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A Guide to Managing Diabetes in the Senior Years

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Diabetes affects more seniors than other age groups. Many seniors develop this disease due to inactivity and the inability to manage their glucose levels. If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, here are some of the steps he or she can take to alleviate the symptoms associated with the condition.

Exercise Often

Staying active through exercise and other physical activities can help seniors maintain a healthy weight, lower their glucose levels, and remain strong. Encourage your loved one to do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to manage diabetes, which can be broken up into 3 separate 10-minute sessions throughout the day. Some of the best exercises for aging adults with diabetes include aerobics, bicycling, walking, and swimming. 

Seniors who need help with exercise should consider professional in-home care. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Oklahoma City Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.

Manage Medications Properly

It is not safe for seniors to miss a dosage of their diabetes medication. Failing to take the correct dosage at the right time could cause your loved one’s blood sugar levels to increase. High blood glucose can lead to ketones, which is very dangerous. Failing to take diabetes medication properly could also put your loved one at risk for other serious health issues. Use charts to help your loved one track diabetes medication. There are also reminders you can set up using a computer or smartphone app. 

Monitor Glucose Levels

When the doctor explains how to check your loved one’s blood glucose levels, you both need to pay close attention. Seniors who are over the age of 65 and taking diabetes medication are at a higher risk of hypoglycemia. This is why monitoring your loved one’s blood sugar is extremely important. Be aware of the symptoms associated with hypoglycemia, which include dizziness, hunger, sweating, and confusion. 

Eat Nutritious Meals

The foods your loved one eats can control his or her blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Your loved one’s meals should include healthy starches such as whole grains, oatmeal, and other items made with very little or no added sugar. He or she should also eat beans, which are high in soluble fiber that boosts feelings of fullness. Salmon and other fatty fishes are healthy protein choices that do not raise blood sugar levels. 

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help preparing nutritious meals or making healthy lifestyle choices. Oklahoma City home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Control Stress 

Seniors who have diabetes do not make enough insulin to keep their blood sugar in a normal range when they are stressed. However, helping your loved one control stress could prevent his or her body from producing high levels of stress hormones that drive blood sugar levels up. Help your loved one control stress and manage diabetes better by ensuring he or she gets plenty of rest, meditates, exercises, and stays socially active.

Older adults with diabetes often need help with daily tasks. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Oklahoma City respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. For more information on our senior care services, call 405-285-4191 today.

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