Diabetes is an extremely serious illness for people of all ages, but this is especially true for seniors. Whether someone has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, there are steps that older adults can take to stay as healthy as possible. Let’s look at 5 great ways to help seniors manage their diabetes.
Daily Glucose Test
For diabetics, it’s critical that they monitor their blood sugar level on a daily basis. Doctors normally want their patients to check their blood sugar levels first thing in the morning before breakfast. This will provide a good indication of what a person’s fasting blood sugar is since they last ate.
A doctor may also want the senior to take their glucose reading at various times during the day to ensure that proper levels are being maintained. Doing this daily is important so the diabetic person can track their overall blood sugar readings over time. Glucose testing kits are widely available and often inexpensive to purchase at such retailers as Wal Mart, Walgreens, or Target.
A1C & Other Tests
In addition to taking their blood glucose daily, senior diabetics should also have several important tests done every 3-4 months. These include an A1C, which measures a person’s blood glucose levels over a 90 day period.
Other blood work that should be completed includes tests for cholesterol, triglycerides, sodium levels, as well as overall kidney and liver function.
One of the best ways to manage diabetes is for a senior to exercise in alignment with their physical capabilities.
In addition to exercise being generally beneficial for older people, it can also play a significant role in lowering blood sugar levels. Whether it be walking, yoga, arm or leg stretches, or any other form of exercise, it’s important for diabetic seniors to exercise as much as they can.
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By simply drinking water on a consistent basis, diabetic seniors can lower the amount of sugar in their bloodstreams. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of high blood sugar levels in diabetics. In fact, severe dehydration can cause dangerously high blood sugar readings.
How much water a senior should drink ought to be determined by their doctor. The person’s overall health condition, medication use and other factors will affect how much daily water consumption is suggested.
Healthy Eating & Medication
The foundation of diabetes management for seniors is healthy eating habits. Avoiding excessive sugar and foods that are high in carbohydrates and fat is a great way to keep sugar levels as low as possible.
Should a senior need help learning more about how to make healthy food choices, their doctor can arrange for them to see a nutritionist. These professionals have special training in educating people about the right food to eat.
In addition, it is extremely critical that older diabetics consistently take their medication daily as prescribed by their doctor.
Frontier Senior Living is Here to Help
Diabetes is a serious health condition, but with the proper treatment, many seniors can manage it very well on a daily basis. The mission of Frontier is to help older adults live happy and healthy lives with meaning and purpose. In our communities, residents enjoy delicious meals that are both nutritious and satisfying. We are always happy to accommodate seniors who have special dietary needs.
If you would like to learn about our services, we invite you to visit one of our beautiful communities, take a tour and speak with our friendly and compassionate staff.