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8 Conditions Commonly Seen in Aging Adults with Diabetes

By , 9:00 am on

More than 30 million people in the United States live with diabetes. Of these, 25 percent are 65 years of age or older. Seniors with diabetes often have additional diabetes-related health issues. There are several conditions associated with the blood sugar disorder.

1. Metabolic Syndrome

The phrase “metabolic syndrome” refers to a group of conditions that together increase the risk of developing diabetes or any number of cardiovascular diseases. Obesity is at the top of the list and describes men with a waistline of more than 40 inches or women with a waistline of more than 35 inches in circumference. These individuals typically have triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dl or higher as well as HDL cholesterol levels of more than 40 mg/dl for men or 50 mg/dl for women. Seniors with metabolic syndrome tend to have elevated blood pressure and insulin resistance. Correcting these conditions reduces the risk of diabetes. 

If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to monitor his or her lifestyle and dietary habits closely, but a trained professional caregiver can do this and much more. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Rowlett seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.

2. Depression

Receiving a diabetes diagnosis often triggers depression. The mental state may lead to diabetic complications if seniors don’t adhere to a healthy lifestyle. Affected older adults may need counseling or medication intervention.

3. Neuropathy

Elevated blood sugar levels often cause nerve damage. In most cases, the damage occurs in the lower limbs and causes numbness and tingling. As the damage progresses, diabetic seniors experience pain, which can become debilitating. Other nerve tracts susceptible to damage include the nerves of the gastrointestinal system, the urogenital system, the blood vessels, and the heart. Keeping blood sugar within normal limits reduces the risk.

4. Diabetic Retinopathy

An abundance of blood sugar damages the eyes’ blood vessels, which bleed and impair vision. The leaking fluid may lead to swelling of the retina and potential detachment. Maintaining blood sugar levels is thus vitally important.

5. Kidney Disease

When the kidneys continually filter excess sugar from the blood, they eventually become damaged. Approximately one-third of diabetic seniors develop a condition known as nephropathy. Avoiding nephropathy requires maintaining blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. 

Diabetes is a common disease among seniors, and it’s crucial to effectively manage its treatment and replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones as seniors age. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Rowlett home care service experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

6. Infections

Elevated blood sugar supplies pathogens with the nutrition needed to grow, replicate, and thrive, which enables infections to become serious quickly. Preventing the problem requires keeping blood sugar regulated. If infections do occur, seniors must seek medical intervention and receive the necessary medications.

7. Skin Disorders

Chronic hyperglycemia causes skin issues in up to one-third of diabetic seniors. Excess sugar in the blood interferes with the skin’s ability to retain moisture, which leads to dryness and itching. Elevated sugar levels and reduced blood flow also leave the skin susceptible to bacterial or fungal infections.

8. Cardiovascular Disease

Diabetics living with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and uncontrolled blood sugar are at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease secondary to blocked or damaged blood vessels. Preventing the disease requires regulating blood sugar, eating healthy, and exercising regularly.

Even if seniors have serious health challenges such as diabetes, they can still live in safety and comfort at home with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Rowlett senior care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caring for your aging loved one. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (972) 722-7833.