How Senior Caregivers from Visiting Angels of Boulder County Can Help Older Adults Manage Type 2 Diabetes
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and a good time to be aware of how type 2 diabetes affects the elderly. Learn more about what you should know about type 2 diabetes and how senior caregivers from Visiting Angels help seniors in Longmont, Boulder, Louisville and surrounding areas in Boulder County, CO manage symptoms
Type 2 diabetes is becoming ever more prevalent among the elderly. Because many aging adults are unaware that they have diabetes symptoms, it is essential to understand how the condition affects seniors and what signs to look out for.
If you suspect your senior loved one has diabetes, you should be informed of how type 2 diabetes may affect your senior loved one, as well as some common symptoms, important information on caring for seniors with type 2 diabetes, and how senior caregivers from Visiting Angels of Boulder County can help you.
How Will I Know My Loved One Has Type 2 Diabetes?
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:
- Blurry vision
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very hungry
- Frequent urination
- Cuts and/or bruises that are slow to heal
- Tingling, pain or numbness in the extremities
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Diabetes Association. Prediabetes affects around 85 million Americans 18 years of age and over, accounting for more than 25 percent of all seniors.
Because the likelihood of acquiring type 2 diabetes grows with age, it's vital that your loved one knows what to do if they notice any symptoms.
Since type 2 diabetes symptoms are moderate at first, many seniors may be unaware they have the condition. The most direct approach to diagnose diabetes is to see your local doctor for a thorough physical examination.
Untreated high blood glucose levels can cause eye damage, as well as damage to the kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels. Diabetes is widespread in nursing home residents and can result in increased impairment or death.
How Can I Help My Loved One Manage Type 2 Diabetes?
The sooner diabetes is detected, the more time you have to assist your loved one in managing their symptoms and improving their quality of life. Caring for seniors with type 2 diabetes involves a number of techniques, including healthy living and medication management.
Diabetes patients are well aware that maintaining a healthy weight can help with managing symptoms. Dropping 10 to 15 pounds might make a big difference if you're overweight. You can assist your loved one in managing their weight by cooking tasty and nutritious meals and encouraging them to consume less junk food. Light exercise may also assist your loved one in burning fat and calories and maintaining a healthy weight.
Regular physical exercise can also help your loved one manage their weight and type 2 diabetes symptoms. Gardening, walking, raking leaves and carrying groceries are all basic tasks that can assist seniors in incorporating some mild exercise into their daily lives.
Some of the benefits of regular physical activity include:
- More energy
- Improving your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Increasing your strength
- Lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke
Exercise on a regular basis helps to preserve muscle strength and bone flexibility, minimizing stress on joints and ligaments. Exercise also improves insulin sensitivity, which helps to prevent hypoglycemia.
Several studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, can reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Strength training has also been found in studies to enhance muscle mass and bone density.
Maintaining a healthy weight aids many elderly adults manage type 2 diabetes, but some require oral medication. When caring for an older loved one with type 2 diabetes, it is necessary to make sure that they take their medication as directed and to be on the lookout for any signs that their medication isn't working or is conflicting with any other medications they are taking. Although insulin is more beneficial for patients with type 1 diabetes, it can also help certain people with type 2 diabetes.
Your loved one's doctor should discuss any oral drugs, as well as their diet and lifestyle plan, before starting them. Oral medicine, according to the American Diabetes Association, is more likely to be useful for people who have just become diabetic or require little to no insulin to maintain their blood glucose levels. Seniors with diabetes for more than a decade or who require more than 20 units of insulin per day, on the other hand, may not obtain the desired benefits from diabetic drugs.
It's also critical that they talk to their pharmacist if they need to switch brands or modify their dosage. Diabetes patients may have to spend time finding the best prescription for their needs, or they may have to take a mix of drugs (and even insulin, in some cases). Furthermore, oral medicine may start to not be effective after a few months or years, requiring the search for a new prescription or treatment strategy.
How Can Senior Caregivers from Visiting Angels of Boulder County Help My Loved One?
Visiting Angels of Boulder County can assist you if you are feeling overwhelmed by caring for a loved one with type 2 diabetes. For many years, our senior caregivers have been caring for older people with diabetes and other chronic illnesses, and we provide a wide range of home care services to assist your loved one manage their health and lessen the intensity of their symptoms. Best of all, our care plans are tailored to your loved one's specific needs, ensuring that they receive the assistance they require.
Here are some ways our senior caregivers can help your loved one:
- Clearing clutter from rooms so your loved one can exercise at home
- Providing transportation to fitness centers and senior centers so your loved one can get a workout
- Accompanying your loved one on a morning jog
- Reminding your loved one to take their diabetes medication and keeping an eye out in case they show any side effects
- Planning and preparing healthy meals and snacks
- Shopping for healthy groceries
- Helping them get to and from the bathroom
- Driving your loved one to the pharmacy so they can pick up their prescription
- Taking your loved one to doctor’s appointments
- And so much more
To learn more about how type 2 diabetes impacts elderly adults and how our senior caregivers can help your loved one, call our Longmont, CO office at 303-848-2331 to schedule a free in-home consultation!