Type 2 diabetes has become a common medical issue; many seniors suffer from this type of diabetes, so it’s important to know the symptoms and how it affects the body if you are a caregiver. Type 2 diabetes can lead to eye and nerve damage, damage to the kidneys (nephropathy), infections, and cardiovascular disease when not properly monitored, so it’s important to ensure your senior loved one gets the care he/she needs both from you, and his or her physician.
What are the most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes? Initially, you may notice an elderly loved one becomes more thirsty or needs to urinate more often. Other tell-tale signs may include:
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infections, such as urinary tract infections
- Sores that heal slowly
- Gum disease – inflamed, red gums or mouth infections
- Changes in weight – weight loss or gain
- Feeling tired or fatigued – this fatigue often resembles the weakness some experience when having the flu
Certain individuals are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those who are over age 45, those with a family history of diabetes, individuals who are overweight or obese, and those who suffer from depression or stress are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. In most cases, it’s a combination of these factors that result in the disease, rather than one on its own.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a healthy diet is critical in caring for those with diabetes.
If you’re caring for seniors in Walnut Creek, what can you do to help manage a senior’s health or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes?
The primary causes of type 2 diabetes in seniors is not getting enough exercise, and eating too much. Try to help someone who is aging by encouraging healthy meals and snacks, and helping them get engaged in regular exercise. This can be as simple as taking a short walk every day, increasing the intake of whole grain foods and vegetables, and helping decrease the amount of sugar and fat in a senior’s diet. If you prepare meals, make them as healthy as possible.
Help your senior relax and eliminate stress. Seniors, like the rest of us, get stressed out. This can be caused by the worries of getting older, finances, even the fear of having to go to a nursing home. To help eliminate stress, ensure your senior is participating in activities that help reduce stress such as exercise, practicing meditation or yoga, tai chi, or even dancing. Doing something he/she enjoys such as reading, working crossword puzzles, or crocheting can also reduce stress.
If the senior you care for already has type 2 diabetes, make sure he/she takes the medicine(s) prescribed as directed.
At Care Indeed, we understand that caring for an elderly loved one can be overwhelming at times, particularly if you have family of your own or are not getting support from siblings or other family members. When you need help, you’re not alone. Call our Walnut Creek senior care providers today.