Tips for Managing Diabetes for Seniors

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Did you know that 29.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes? The disease is most prevalent in seniors age 65 or older and stands at 25.9 percent. That means an estimated 11.8 million seniors in the U.S. have diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed). In 2010, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and in 2012 and the cost of diagnosed diabetes totaled $245 billion. The statistics alone indicate it is more important than ever to know how to manage diabetes for seniors and older adults.

There are two kinds of diabetes that can occur at any age but type 1 is most common in children and young adults.  If you suffer from type 2 diabetes it is important to manage with diet, exercise and medication when necessary, as it can affect many parts of the body, and make you a prime candidate for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Seniors with type 2 are also at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Managing diabetes

When diet and exercise are not enough, medication is an important factor in managing type 2 diabetes. A physician will prescribe the best medication for you based on a number of factors, including other health concerns or diseases, as well as taking into account everyday routine.  In addition to taking medication as directed, keeping diabetes in check can be best managed with the following

  • Tracking blood sugar levels
  • Making healthy food choices
  • Exercising daily
  • Keeping track of overall wellbeing – including regular doctor check-ups

As you age it is important that you also keep in mind the following to best manage your diabetes:

  • Schedule annual eye exams
  • Have kidneys checked annually
  • Get a flu shot each year
  • Have cholesterol checked at least once a year
  • Find out your average glucose level
  • Take care of your skin
  • Check your feet on a daily basis
  • Watch your blood pressure

To learn more about diabetes as a sufferer or caregiver visit www.diabetes.org or speak with your healthcare practitioner and take control of your health today.