November is National Diabetes Month when seniors and elderly can focus on prevention and keeping diabetes controlled.
It’s especially important now during the COVID-19 pandemic as the illness is expected to surge in the fall and winter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were more likely to be readmitted to the same hospital within two months of discharge if they had certain chronic conditions such as diabetes.
That makes diabetes control and prevention all the more important. This year is a great time for seniors and the elderly to take National Diabetes Month as an opportune time to focus on their health.
Diabetes occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. In the U.S., about 37 million people are affected by diabetes. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. It’s also linked to some types of cancer.
Types of Diabetes
As you may know, managing diabetes is very important. Managing the disease means you stand a better chance of preventing health problems related to diabetes such as kidney disease, vision loss, heart disease, and stroke.
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 — The body doesn’t make insulin, which affects 5-10% of people with diabetes.
- Type 2 — The body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sure at normal levels. This affects about 90-95% of people with diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes — Develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. Babies could have a higher risk for health problems and women with gestational diabetes may be at risk for type 2 diabetes later in life and the baby may be at risk for obesity and developing type 2 diabetes.
Talk to Your Health Care Provider
Having a team of health care professionals to tailor your care is important for your long-term health. When you meet with your health care team, be prepared to ask questions and take notes.
Have your blood pressure checked, a foot check, and a weight check. You should also talk about medications and other treatment options. Ask about any vaccines or boosters you should get.
Make Healthy Choices, Develop Healthy Habits
Don’t get overwhelmed about caring for your diabetes. Start small and build on it. The best way to start is to make physical activity and healthy eating part of your daily routine.
Start with a goal, like to be active most days of the week. Then add a second goal of following a diabetes meal plan.
Being active can be as simple as walking, stretching, swimming, yoga, pickle ball, or other fun activities. For healthy eating, choose fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, tofu, beans, seeds, and non-fat or low-fat milk and cheese.
Find people in your assisted living facility to join you in your healthy eating and active living lifestyle. Another good habit is to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to help with your mood and energy levels.
A CARING-FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Senior living communities like Regency at Augusta Assisted Living & Memory Care are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life.
At Regency at Augusta Assisted Living & Memory Care, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!
If you believe a senior living community would benefit your loved one, get in touch with us. Schedule a visit or download a brochure today!