Diabetes is one of the most demanding conditions in that diabetes patients have to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels, take medications and shots regularly, and be very careful about what they eat and how much they eat.
According to the American Diabetes Association, over 25% of seniors aged over 65 struggle with this condition. Diabetes is all the more the dangerous at an older age, as it can decrease the seniors’ functionality and affect motor skills, causing the seniors to fall and hurt themselves. Furthermore, if not monitored and properly treated diabetes can lead to a fatal outcome. Seniors struggling with diabetes often need a reliable caregiver to help them with day-to-day activities and monitoring the disease.
Senior care Beverly Hills experts stress that a lot of seniors’ condition improves with a meal plan caregivers help seniors stick to, through monitoring their progress and helping them exercise. In this article, we’ll go explain how seniors with diabetes can lead a better life.
Types of Diabetes
There are two different types of this condition. The first one, or Type 1 diabetes, occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. These patients have to take the insulin their body needs through injections.
Type 2 diabetes is also known as insulin resistance. The pancreas cannot keep producing the required levels of insulin, leading to an increased blood glucose level. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of this disease in seniors and can cause blindness, kidney failure, and heart attack.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed early in life, while Type 2 can develop in adults and seniors for a number of reasons. Inactive, overweight and seniors under a lot of stress are at the highest risk of contracting diabetes, but the condition can also be genetically inherited.
Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?
It is entirely possible to reverse Type 2 diabetes in seniors, but that requires a lot of lifestyle changes. The first is that seniors have to lose weight, as the extra fat alters how our body produces and uses the insulin. With a strict diet that includes healthier foods, seniors can improve their blood sugar level. In some cases, that might be enough to effectively reverse the condition.
Whether or not seniors can reverse the condition depends on how long they’ve suffered from diabetes, how severe the disease progressed and if the disease is inherited or not.
According to a study reported by WebMD, 1 in 10 diabetics successfully managed to get their blood sugar levels to a pre-diabetic value and get off their diabetes medication through a strict routine involving exercise and a low-calorie diet regime.
Sadly, this does not work for every patient. Some seniors have a genetic predisposition for diabetes while others have done nothing to prevent diabetes from developing early on. But seniors who contracted diabetes due to poor lifestyle and dietary choices can still turn things around or at least alleviate some of the symptoms.
Diet for Seniors with Diabetes
Body fat is one of the major contributing factors to this condition, which is why losing weight is the first step in fighting diabetes. The right way to do this is to gradually decrease the caloric intake. Seniors should gradually eliminate unhealthy foods from their diet and replace them with healthy alternatives.
This includes eating a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grain products and healthy fats. Diabetics are also encouraged to consume as many fiber-rich nutrients and complex carbohydrates as the body metabolizes them slower. Last but not least, seniors with diabetes should completely eliminate sweets and alcohol.
Exercise for Seniors with Diabetes
We already talked about how exercise can benefit seniors. This goes double for diabetics. But seniors should not get into intense exercise right away. Instead, they should start light and modify the intensity of their exercise routine when they feel more confident and able to. Seniors should have at least half an hour of moderate cardio 5 days a week as well as 2 days of strength training exercises.
Exercise can help seniors lose weight, which is essential in fighting diabetes as we already mentioned. But exercise can also help increase our bodies’ insulin sensitivity. That makes exercise twice as important for diabetics.
How can Senior Care Beverly Hills Experts Help?
Inspiring seniors to start exercising and modify their dietary habits may seem like an impossible task, but they have to realize how tremendously these changes or lack of thereof can affect their health. That is why caring for seniors with diabetes is essential.
Caregivers can be there for your senior loved one when you can’t. They can monitor their progress and health condition, help them exercise and prepare healthy meals and encourage them to visit their physician regularly.
With the help of a caregiver, seniors can lead a healthier and longer life free of diabetes.