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Tips to Keep Diabetes at Bay in the Senior Years

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Diabetes is known for being the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 30 million people were diagnosed with the disease in 2015. In seniors 65 and older, more than 25 percent live with the disorder. While age and genetics are factors that cannot be altered, there are ways to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. 

Exercise Regularly

Seniors who live sedentary or inactive lifestyles are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers recommend older adults engage in activities that offer aerobic exercise and resistance training. They should start by walking 30 minutes at least three times each week, then gradually work up to five days and pick up the pace. Bands or light weights are a good way to begin resistance training. 

A professional caregiver can help your senior loved one adopt a healthy lifestyle. Galt Ocean Mile home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Increase Fiber Intake

Studies suggest diets low in fiber but high in saturated fat lead to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. It is not entirely understood why whole grains reduce diabetes risk. However, eating foods that are high in fiber can help your loved one keep his or her blood sugar and insulin levels low. Beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains are high in fiber. Many foods containing whole grains are prepackaged and indicate “whole” on the label. Options may include breads, cereals, and pasta. 

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help preparing nutritious meals or making healthy lifestyle choices. In Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Nearly 80 percent of adults diagnosed with diabetes are also obese. Individuals with a body mass index of 27 or higher are at greater risk of developing the disease. Furthermore, the risk is higher for adults with a rounded apple-shaped body compared to someone who is pear-shaped. The bodies of overweight adults need more insulin. However, as a person gains fat, the body is unable to use insulin effectively, which is known as insulin resistance. Every pound lost by an overweight senior can boost his or her overall health. Adults who exercise regularly and drop down to their ideal weight reduce the risk of having diabetes by nearly 60 percent. 

Resist Fad Dieting

Glycemic index diets, low-carb diets, or other quick weight loss schemes enable seniors to lose weight in a short time. However, limiting certain foods also has the potential for eliminating much-needed nutrients. Seniors should stick to a healthy, well-rounded diet with smaller portions. 

Control High Cholesterol and Hypertension

Type 2 diabetes is also commonly found in older adults with high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol. Annual physicals are recommended for adults over the age of 45 to screen for potential issues. Seniors should have blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels checked as often as needed and correct potential abnormalities by taking the recommended medications, eating a proper diet, and getting enough exercise.

Diabetes is a serious health condition. However, older adults living with this disease can manage their symptoms with the help of a professional caregiver. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Ft. Lauderdale Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To learn about our premier in-home care plans, give us a call at (954) 909-0370 today.