Diabetes is one of the many health concerns that older adults can face, with nearly 1 out of every 4 people over 60 suffering from it according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This condition can lead to numerous serious complications, such as heart attacks, strokes, eye issues and kidney disease. By managing it effectively you can lower your chances of developing these issues.
1. Keep a medical ID on your person
Maintaining your medical ID on hand is an essential step in managing diabetes as you age. It lets first responders and healthcare personnel know about any conditions, allergies, medications taken, and other vital details that could enhance their ability to assist you during an emergency.
Many medical ID bracelets include a basic set of information such as your name, address and phone number. This helps first responders identify you in an emergency and get you the care that you require.
If you are prone to memory loss, such as those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, having your medical ID bracelet engraved with an ICE (In Case of Emergency) phone number can be beneficial. This way, any bystanders who see you wearing the bracelet will know to contact the emergency contacts and alert them that an emergency exists.
Engraving your medication information on a medical ID bracelet can be especially useful, particularly if you tend to forget your prescription or dosage. Doing so could result in mistakes or delays with treatment that could put you at serious risk for serious consequences.
You may want to include a special message for medical professionals to help them recognize your condition. This could be in the form of your signature or an abbreviation containing both your name and medical condition (e.g., type 1 or type 2 diabetes).
Maintaining your medical conditions, medications and allergies on a medical ID bracelet is an easy way to stay safe and healthy. It’s essential that this information be updated as often as possible so medical personnel can provide you with the best care when it’s most needed.
2. Keep track of your medicine
As you age, there are a few important reminders for managing your diabetes: taking medication, monitoring blood glucose levels and getting enough sleep. By paying close attention to these areas, you may help avoid or delay diabetes-related complications like heart disease and stroke.
Before bedtime, check your blood sugar levels to prevent low sugar (hypoglycaemia). Additionally, keep a handy list of medications and their dosages so you don’t forget to take them.
Making the most of insulin is an integral part of diabetes treatment, and your doctor can assist in selecting a medicine that’s suitable for you. The ideal medication will maximize its effects while minimizing side effects.
Your healthcare team may suggest several different medicines for you to consider, depending on the specifics of your case. Your doctor can explain each drug’s advantages and potential drawbacks so that you can make an informed decision that is right for you.
It is essential to keep track of both your medications and glucose readings in order to guarantee optimal energy and health throughout life. This will enable you to live a long, fulfilling life with maximum enjoyment!
Furthermore, if you lack the patience or memory to strictly follow the directions for taking medications, you could end up taking more than what is prescribed or neglecting to take certain actions your doctor has instructed you to take.
Finally, managing diabetes effectively requires some planning and perseverance. It may be a long road ahead, but with dedication and the right help from others you can enjoy a longer, healthier life.
3. Keep an eye on your weight
Eating right and exercising regularly can help regulate blood sugar levels and protect you against diabetes-related complications. For older adults, a diet that’s high in protein, low in fat, and moderate on carbohydrates may be beneficial.
Many people living with diabetes worry about gaining weight as they age. However, a recent study suggests this is only temporary and due to physiological changes within the body.
Elderly adults who are overweight are at higher risk for developing diabetes or having their condition diagnosed later in life. Furthermore, they may have an increased chance of experiencing cardiovascular events like heart attack or stroke, as well as kidney failure.
If you’re overweight, losing weight and increasing physical activity can help lower your blood glucose levels. Speak to your doctor for assistance creating a healthy weight loss plan and finding exercises that are safe and comfortable for you.
Eating nutritious foods that are high in fiber and low in sugar can help regulate your blood sugar levels, prevent or delay diabetes-related complications, and promote overall good health. Make sure to incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your meals for maximum nutritional benefit.
Additionally, it’s best to avoid fatty foods like red meats and full-fat dairy products. Fat can raise blood glucose levels and contribute to obesity.
Furthermore, you should consume plenty of foods that are low in sugar and salt. Examples include low-fat or fat-free milk, fruit juices, and oats.
Additionally, you should regularly monitor your blood sugar levels with a glucose monitor that you can use at home or the office. Maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar close to those recommended by your healthcare provider is key for avoiding or delaying diabetes-related complications.
4. Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is one of the most effective ways to manage diabetes as you age. Not only does it help keep blood sugar under control, but it also improves memory, mood and emotional stability.
Despite its importance, many people fail to get enough sleep each night. Studies show that adults require seven to nine hours of shut-eye per night in order to function at their optimal performance level.
But sleeping too little can put you at greater risk for weight gain, heart disease and infections. Additionally, it could weaken your immunity, making you more susceptible to contracting the flu.
As you age, it’s increasingly important to get adequate rest as the consequences of chronic sleep deprivation can be profound.
If you have difficulty sleeping well, try setting a regular schedule for going to bed and waking up. Make it part of your regular routine even on weekends.
You can keep a sleep log to monitor how long you spend in each stage of sleep. Doing this will help identify areas for improvement and determine what needs to be addressed first.
If you find that you’re not getting enough deep-wave sleep, try spending more time in the lighter, slower-wave phase of sleep – when your brain is actively repairing and resetting itself.
Another way to promote better sleep is to avoid caffeine, high-intensity exercise and electronic screens an hour before going to bed. Doing this will enable you to fall asleep naturally and remain asleep throughout the night.
Lack of sleep can have adverse effects on our hormone levels, leading to hunger and appetite, unhealthy food choices and weight gain. Furthermore, lack of sleep makes it harder for your body to fight infections and increases the likelihood that you will develop type 2 diabetes.
5. Get plenty of exercise
Exercising regularly is important for everyone, but especially so if you have diabetes. Aerobic exercise improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin and lowers blood sugar levels in the long run; plus it aids weight loss, regulates blood pressure levels, lowers the risk of heart disease or cancer risks, provides energy and boosts moods – all at once!
Adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity each week. This amount of physical activity will raise your heart rate, build muscle tone (which makes you more likely to feel good), and require you to breathe harder.
If you have diabetes, consult with your doctor about how much exercise is beneficial for you. They may suggest walking or other daily activities that can be done from home. They also assist in creating a plan that fits into your lifestyle and is simple to follow.
When beginning an exercise routine, start slowly and work your way up to the level desired. Your doctor can offer specific recommendations regarding how much time and energy should be put into it each week.
It’s essential to determine what types of workouts are beneficial and which should be avoided. High-intensity exercise or HIIT (high-intensity interval training) may make your joints stiffer and more vulnerable to injuries if you have type 2 diabetes and take cholesterol medications known as statins.
Other exercises you should avoid are jumping, lifting heavy weights or making jarring movements that could cause eye problems like proliferative retinopathy. These conditions can be extremely serious and should be treated promptly if you’re concerned.