November is designated as American Diabetes Month, and while this may be a problem that affects people of all ages, it is most frequently seen among the elderly. In fact, as of 2012, adults who were between the ages of 45 and 64 were the most frequently diagnosed age category for diabetes. Whether struggling with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, seniors have a variety of factors they must consider as they try to keep this disease under control while aging gracefully.
Tracking blood glucose levels regularly is an important step in seeing how much insulin one needs and whether one is at risk of hypoglycemia. An individual’s doctor will recommend when and how often one should check glucose levels, but those using insulin will need more regular tracking than those making only lifestyle changes will need. Blood glucose levels can easily be checked at home with a small monitor and a tiny drop of blood.
Choose Healthy Foods
Sugar-filled and highly processed foods can have a very negative effect on diabetes. Additionally, diabetes and obesity often go hand in hand. Those with diabetes should choose healthy foods, such as whole grains, plenty of vegetables and moderate portions of protein, fruits, and dairy. Those with diabetes may qualify for a free visit to a dietitian as part of their health care plans.
Regular exercise can be one of the best ways to manage one’s weight, which in turn will help to keep glucose levels stable. Both cardio and strength training are important. The American Diabetes Association states that 30 minutes of exercise 5 times each week is a great place to start.
Take Medications as Ordered
It can be easy to forget medications when one feels good, but it is important to take medications, including insulin, exactly as ordered. There are numerous ways to remember daily medications, such as pillboxes as well as phone or computer alarm reminders.