While diabetes is a worldwide health concern that doesn’t target based on age, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), around 25 percent of those 65 and older have diabetes - an estimated 12 million seniors.
In addition, if the current trends continue, some experts believe that the number of Americans who have diabetes will increase from about one in ten in 2015 to one in three by 2050. This will, in large part, be due to an increasingly older population—one that is more at risk for developing diabetes. While these facts may be concerning, diabetes is a disease that can be managed through understanding and living a healthy lifestyle.
Brickmont Assisted Living, with assisted living communities throughout Atlanta, Georgia, would like to provide information regarding diabetes and how to help the senior in your life who may be dealing with diabetes.
Though the numbers seem high, in reality, less than 10% of the American population has been diagnosed with diabetes. This low percentage tends to lead to a lack of overall public knowledge of the disease.
Diabetes occurs when a person’s blood sugar is too high, which, in turn, can lead to a sensitivity or lack of insulin production. Insulin is a hormone that is required to allow glucose to enter the cells and create energy. There are several forms of diabetes, but the two most common are type 1 and type 2. While both types are similar, they react very differently and can become present in different stages of life.
Type 1 Diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is most commonly developed amongst children and adolescents but can occur in adults as well. In this form of diabetes, the pancreas creates little to no insulin, requiring daily insulin shots to help the body function properly.
Type 2 Diabetes, the more common form of diabetes, means that while your body can produce insulin, it does not react or utilize the hormone properly. While type 2 diabetes can occur at any age, it is most common in those 45 years old or older.
Though these two types are the most common, other forms of diabetes can occur under certain circumstances. For instance, gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy.
Building a Diabetic-Friendly Diet
A crucial point of managing a diabetes diagnosis is to be aware of the senior’s diet. A satisfying diabetic diet can be difficult to find, as many of the food choices your loved one enjoys may be considered “off the menu”.
A diabetic diet should consist of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, fish, and beans; sugary and fried foods should be avoided. The American Diabetes Association is a fantastic resource that can help you and the senior in your life craft the perfect diabetic diet!
A common concern for those with diabetes is dining out and finding healthy meal options. While it can be difficult, it isn’t impossible. Click the button below to read Brickmont Assisted Living’s tips on how to dine out with diabetes!
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
While crafting and maintaining a diabetic diet is the first step to helping manage diabetes in seniors, it isn’t the only change that should occur. An active lifestyle is the next step to helping your loved one lead an active and healthy lifestyle. A brisk walk around your loved one’s favorite park or water aerobics will increase their heart rate, which helps to increase the sensitivity one has to insulin. We encourage you to speak with your loved one’s health care provider before starting any exercise regimen to ensure it is the best course of action.
At Brickmont Assisted Living, we know that managing diabetes can be challenging - especially in older adults. However, leading a healthier and more active lifestyle can drastically help your loved one better maintain and control their diabetes. If you found this guide useful, we encourage you to visit our Brickmont Assisted Living blog for more helpful information!