Diabetes and the Elderly

Diabetes can be a serious concern for the elderly, as nearly 20% of Americans over age 65 have it and another quarter of the elderly population has impaired glucose intolerance. The general effects of aging, such as weight gain and a more sedentary lifestyle, make diabetes more likely in this population. And the scary fact is, almost half of those elderly people fail to properly control their blood sugar levels.

Taking care of older people with diabetes is very important to maintain their quality of life in their later years. Because elderly people might be on other medications as well, it’s important to understand the different types of blood sugar problems and what is used to treat diabetes.

Hypoglycemia

When blood sugar dips down low, this is known as hypoglycemia. An elderly person with diabetes may experience this if they aren’t eating regular and balanced meals. Symptoms include sweatiness, shakiness, irritability and confusion. If an elderly person with diabetes is showing these symptoms, check their blood sugar level then provide them with rapid acting sugar such as juice or glucose tablets.

Hyperglycemia

When blood sugar levels rise above 200 mg/dl, this is hypoglycemia. In a diabetic person, this may occur after a meal because the body is unable to produce its own insulin to balance the rising sugar levels. Symptoms of this include thirst, fatigue, frequent urination and irritability. Make sure that elderly people are taking their medication to regulate their blood sugar levels. You can find a blood sugar monitor from UKS Mobility to perform this task.

Overall, it’s very important to make sure you closely monitor the blood sugar levels and symptoms of elderly people with diabetes. Make sure they are eating balanced meals including carbohydrates or starches like potatoes, bread and rice, along with a healthy balance of vegetables and fats. Hydration is also key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels so make sure they are drinking an adequate amount of water each day. And in addition to regulating their diet and medication, it’s important to take care of their other needs. You can find relaxing bath lifts for the elderly to take away the difficulty of getting into and out of a bathtub. By following the tips above, you will be able to take care of your elderly loved one with diabetes so they can enjoy the rest of their life.

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