If we don’t struggle with the condition ourselves, we certainly know someone who does. Diabetes impacts as many as one in four seniors, resulting in the need for lifestyle changes including a carefully-followed nutrition plan, exercise, routine blood sugar checks, and ongoing medical care to manage the disease.
What we may not be as familiar with, however, are the concurrent conditions that are more prevalent in diabetics. Because of the damage that occurs from heightened levels of blood sugar, it’s important for those with diabetes – and those who care for them – to monitor their health closely for the following:
- Heart problems. Have the doctor assess which types of heart disease may be more likely to occur, and then put together a list of symptoms and warning signs to allow for early detection and medical treatment when warranted.
- An increased risk for falls can result from the difficulties in ambulation that often accompany diabetes in seniors. Proactively performing a fall prevention evaluation of the home is one good way to reduce fall risk. (Contact THE MEDICAL TEAM for assistance.)
- Cognitive issues. Although the link is unclear, studies have shown that diabetics are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia twice as often as those without diabetes. Early intervention is key; schedule a complete neurological assessment for senior diabetics and then monitor cognitive functioning on a regular basis.
- Medication contraindications. Since diabetes often requires multiple medications to best manage the disease, it’s important to keep a list of potential drug interactions and be sure to let the doctor know about any negative side effects being experienced.
- Kidney disease. Up to 40 percent of diabetics develop kidney problems, resulting from damage to blood vessels and nerves. Annual urine tests to detect levels of albumin can help the doctor monitor and track any changes in kidney function.
Professional in-home care can help diabetics most effectively manage the disease and any concurrent conditions that may arise, allowing for maximum health and wellbeing. For assistance in New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, or the metro DC area, contact THE MEDICAL TEAM for high quality care in the comfort of home.