5 tips to help elderly people with diabetes
The health needs of an active adult newly diagnosed with diabetes are different from those of an older adult who has had diabetes for years. Changes can be mental and physical, but also very noticeable to others. It is important to carry out the assessment individually, professionally and in a timely manner – doctors from the Diabetes Center advise.
- Conversation is desirable – it is important for the other members of the household to be thoroughly familiar with the regimen for keeping diabetes under control (even though the person has been independently regulating diabetes responsibilities for years). An open conversation is actually an obligation of both the doctor and the family (that is, people from the closest environment). Any change that may occur will be easier to notice if it happens.
- Changes – the manifestation of aging can be gradual, so it is possible that the first changes are imperceptible. The ability to independently manage the disease with aging can be impaired with memory problems, impaired vision, loss of fine motor skills (important for injecting insulin, or checking blood glucose levels using a glucometer). Experience shows that most elderly people are happy to accept help from others. Be tactful if you offer to take on some of the responsibilities of diabetes control. Agree on the division of the most important steps in carrying out the therapy (so that the person you are helping does not feel helpless or excluded).
- Simple obligations – experts believe that the care of elderly people should be made easier and thus necessarily include a certain degree of independence. The functions of the frontal lobe of the brain are lost during aging. This is the area that controls the adoption of new forms of behavior and breaking with old habits. It’s not about memory, it’s about the way people connect things. To an observer, an elderly person seems stubborn, but it is actually difficult for an elderly person to change his own behavior. That’s why older people prefer to use the old regime in some health therapy (including with diabetes), even though new and much more effective drugs have appeared on the market that would improve the condition faster and better. Do not necessarily change the old practice for the elderly if such practice (therapy) is still useful and effective.
- Mental state – depression is common among many people today, including the elderly. That’s why those closest to you should monitor the state of health (and mental state) and help if necessary. Also talk to your doctor (professional) if you notice new and unusual things (mood swings, mood swings, nervousness, changes in diet/sleep, or loss of willpower and energy). Likewise, a long tenure with diabetes, all the discipline, control, and obligations to maintain the disease can cause satiety and fatigue. For these changes, the caregiver/assistant/guardian/friend/family member should have patience and understanding.
- Calm-control of diabetes (especially in the older years of life) is mainly linked to the suppression of risky situations. Perhaps the greatest emphasis (for elderly people with diabetes) should be placed on avoiding a sudden drop in blood glucose level (hypoglycemia) – because this can lead to loss of consciousness and accidental falls with physical injury. Elderly people are mostly insisted on meal control and frequent blood sugar measurement. It is quite natural that elderly people want to take a break from everything after many years of regular blood sugar measurements, daily check-ups and harmonizing the disease with lifestyle habits. That’s perfectly fine. In such a situation, it is most important to measure the size of the possible risks of diabetes complications at the expense of quality of life.