The CDC states that diabetes is a serious disease and there are ways to manage it, and so long as you do, it’s not going to be something that overtakes your life. More and more US adults are diagnosed with diabetes every year. If you are one of those, there are a handful of things that you can do to more appropriately manage your diabetes. Below are four tips to help seniors manage diabetes.
1. Start By Making Lifestyle Changes
Willpower and intention are more easily discussed than put into action. Taking better care of yourself by way of eating better, getting more exercise, and following the guidelines for living your best life with diabetes are crucial to seeing significant changes in how your body reacts and feels.
It can be hard to watch others nosh on things that are potentially dangerous to those with diabetes. If you live alone or are in an assisted living community, why not find a friend and ask them to make some of these healthier lifestyle changes with you? Having a friend by your side often makes nurturing new behaviors easier. And by getting out for consistent exercise and selecting the right choices at meal and snack times, you’ll be well on your way to managing your senior diabetes.
2. Encourage Independent Charge of Senior Health
If you or your loved one has diabetes, the best thing to do is encourage them to take charge of their life and situation. Family members and nursing staff can help support a senior with diabetes, but it’s incredibly empowering for the individual to take charge and be on the same page as the other carers when it comes to their health.
For a senior who is still cooking for themselves, assist in putting together a meal plan and take them shopping. Offer to get out for a low-impact walk or aquatics fitness class. Knowing that they have people to support them is a great feeling, and they will be more in tune with caring for their diabetes and living a fulfilling life.
3. Maintain Other Conditions
Many people develop other health and medical conditions as they age. There are often lots of pills to take and routines to follow. When a senior is newly diagnosed with a condition such as diabetes, it can be an afterthought to think about the other conditions. This is a concerning reality, so seniors can truly benefit from someone helping them to remember to pay attention to their other existing conditions too. That said, it’s especially important to manage coexisting conditions, such as high blood pressure, which can worsen with diabetes. Remember the ABCs of diabetes:
- A1C blood test: This test measures your blood sugar over the last three months.
- Blood pressure: It’s important for seniors with diabetes to understand and have control of their blood pressure.
- Cholesterol: You’ll want to decrease the “bad” (LDL) and increase the “good” (HDL) cholesterol.
4. Speak Freely About the Condition
There is nothing shameful or wrong with having diabetes. It’s just a matter of adjusting some lifestyle components and making changes that support a healthy and balanced life. One of these is to speak freely about it and not leave it feeling stigmatized.
For anyone looking to transition into an assisted living community for some support with the management of their senior diabetes, the Mission at Agua Fria might be a good fit for you. Call us today to schedule a tour of our campus.