Simple tips to help seniors adjust to life with diabetes
Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will put together an individualized treatment plan, taking into account the specific type of diabetes, other health conditions you may have, your age and, in the case of the elderly, your home care situation.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that can be managed through treatment and by making lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on your health and quality of life.
Eat foods that are low in sugar and saturated fat
No matter your age, all individuals with diabetes should be consuming a diet of foods that are low in sugar and saturated fats. It might be worth consulting a registered dietitian or nutritionist who specializes in diabetes to help come up with a meal plan.
Meal delivery services like Mom’s Meals NourishCare can provide a menu of diabetes-friendly options, with meals that are lower in carbohydrates to help maintain good blood sugar control.
Regularly check your glucose levels
Your doctor will advise you on how and when to check your blood glucose levels. This is important because if your levels are very high or very low, your health could be at risk.
Older adults taking medication for their diabetes are at a greater risk of low blood sugar -- also known as hypoglycemia -- and need to keep a close watch on their blood glucose levels. Hypoglycemia can cause confusion, dizziness and sweating.
It is also recommended to check your blood pressure and cholesterol regularly.
Stay active with exercise
One method for maintaining or improving your glucose levels is daily exercise. Walking, swimming and bicycling are all examples of effective aerobic exercise. Incorporating strength training with free weights or resistance bands can also help control your glucose levels.
It doesn’t even have to be every day. The American Diabetes Association recommends exercising 30 minutes each day, at least five days per week.
Don’t forget to take your medication
It doesn’t matter whether you use a watch, clock, computer or phone, as long as you have a system in place to remind you when you need to take your medication. It is critical that you maintain your doctor’s treatment plan and that means not missing a single dosage.
It is also important to keep your medicines organized, with a pill box, for example.