If it doesn’t impact us directly, it’s likely that someone in our circle of family and friends struggles with diabetes, since nearly 10% of all Americans have been diagnosed and an additional 25% are suspected to be affected but not yet diagnosed. And controlling the disease is a complex process that lasts a lifetime. But there’s a new concern now for those with diabetes that needs to be addressed: the discovery of a relation between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Just one of many possible effects of diabetes is damage to blood vessels, which can lead to reduced or blocked blood flow to the brain – displaying as dementia. Research has also documented changes in the brain that are similar in both diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, leading researchers to believe that it’s possible for the two diseases to exacerbate the damage caused by the other.
Because of this possible new connection, in addition to the other potential complications of diabetes (i.e., damage to the eyes and kidneys, heart disease, and stroke, among others), it’s vitally important for those with diabetes to very carefully manage the disease. These helpful tips are recommended to keep diabetes under control:
- Closely monitor blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol, per the direction of the doctor.
- Follow a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes daily.
- Make sure you’re taking all medications as prescribed.
- Check feet each day for sores.
Following these recommendations as well as any others detailed by the physician can dramatically improve health for seniors with diabetes – as well as individuals who are hoping to avoid the disease. As a matter of fact, statistics show an incredible 50% reduction in the development of type 2 diabetes in people who keep their weight at a healthy level and who maintain a healthy diet.
For seniors who struggle with following the lifestyle changes needed to remain healthy with diabetes, seeking the motivation and support of a close friend or family member can help. Hearts at Home’s Kansas City home care professionals can also provide the encouragement needed to keep up with healthy choices by planning and preparing delicious meals that are in line with a prescribed diet, transporting seniors to exercise classes and programs, providing companionship to keep spirits lifted, and more.
Contact us any time at 913-440-4209 to learn how our expert senior care team can help improve quality of life for older adults struggling with chronic diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, or any other condition of aging, with our personalized in-home care services for seniors.