Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by high blood sugar levels, and seniors are often at higher risk for diabetes due to factors like reduced physical activity, weight gain, and sleep deprivation. Although it is important at any stage of life to keep diabetes under control, diabetes management in seniors can be challenging due to existing chronic health conditions.
By making appropriate lifestyle changes, you can reduce the risk of diabetes symptoms developing into serious complications such as cardiovascular problems, kidney disease, blindness, and the like. In fact, there are many ways seniors can manage diabetes to avoid the impact it can have on their lives. In this guide to managing diabetes, you will learn what you can do to maintain a healthy quality of life.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Meal planning is key to controlling your blood sugar levels and by adhering to a diabetic diet, you can help manage your body’s insulin secretion. Seniors with diabetes do not have to avoid carbohydrates altogether, but they should be mindful of what types of carbohydrates they eat. Healthy carbohydrates and high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables are important components of the diabetic diet. Unlike white bread and desserts, which are processed and refined carbohydrates, these complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly and therefore do not cause a jump in blood sugar levels.
Exercise Regularly to Stay Fit
Exercise not only makes your muscle cells more sensitive to insulin, but it also helps control your blood sugar levels and lowers your risk for heart disease. Try to engage in moderate-intensity physical activity that you enjoy, such as brisk walking, biking, dancing, or playing sports, for 30 minutes a day. You should also do strength training at least twice a week to build muscle and improve blood sugar control. Finding a partner or setting a fitness goal that you enjoy will help you stay fit in the long run.
Take Your Medications
Monitoring blood sugar levels and taking medications is an essential part of diabetes management. If you do not take your medications, it can throw your blood sugar levels out of balance. Therefore, use a pill organizer or other device that works for you and set reminders to take your medication as prescribed.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
Seniors with diabetes are at higher risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, when they take their diabetes medications, so they need to monitor their glucose levels regularly. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include dizziness, confusion, sweating, and hunger. If you frequently show signs of hypoglycemia, you should seek advice from your healthcare professional.
Diabetes Management at Discovery Commons At College Park
Managing diabetes can be an overwhelming task as seniors find it increasingly difficult to prepare balanced meals, stay active and monitor their health on a daily basis. To prevent cases of uncontrolled diabetes, some retirement communities offer diabetes management programs for their residents.
Discovery Commons At College Park offers senior living health programs that promote a holistic lifestyle to comprehensively improve all aspects of senior health. If you are living with diabetes, our community will provide the right knowledge, an open line of communication with medical team members, healthy meals, and reminders for taking your diabetes medications. Our dedicated team members can help you effectively manage diabetes and live a healthy life.