Leesburg Senior Home Care Blog

30 Million People Have Diabetes -- Is Your Aging Relative One of Them?

By Kaltoon Essa, Owner

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report that stated approximately 30 million people in the United States currently have diabetes. That’s about 14 percent of adults. Perhaps even more shocking is that the CDC estimates that about 4 percent of people who have diabetes are not aware they have the condition. Could your aging relative be one of them? Knowing the symptoms and risk factors might help you to determine if your aging relative needs to be tested for diabetes.

 

Diabetes Symptoms

Whether or not your aging relative experiences any symptoms depends on how high their blood sugar levels are. Some possible symptoms are:

  • Being very thirsty.
  • Urinating more often than usual.
  • Being extremely hungry, even when the older adult has been eating.
  • Losing weight.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Sores that take a long time to heal.
  • Getting infections frequently.
  • Feeling pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet.

 

Diabetes Risk Factors

Because a person can have diabetes without having symptoms, knowing whether your family member has risk factors for the disease can help to determine if they need to see a doctor. Some of the risk factors for diabetes are:

  • Age: As people get older, their chances of getting diabetes goes up. Experts believe it may have something to do with a loss of muscle mass, exercising less, and gaining weight, all of which tend to occur with age.
  • Family History: People with a parent or sibling with diabetes are more likely to develop the disease.
  • Weight: Carrying excess weight makes cells more resistant to insulin.
  • Lack of Exercise: Exercise helps to reduce blood sugar levels by using up glucose to produce energy. In addition, it makes cells better able to use insulin and helps to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Race: People of African-American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian-American descent are more likely to get diabetes.

 

If your aging relative is experiencing symptoms of diabetes, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with their doctor to have them tested. Uncontrolled diabetes is a dangerous condition. Some of the complications that may occur are:

  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Vision problems.

 

Senior care can help older adults with diabetes to better manage the disease. Some seniors have trouble remembering to take their medications or get confused about when to test their blood sugar. A senior care provider can remind them when it is time for medicine or to perform a blood sugar test. Senior care providers can also cook healthy meals that fit into the meal plan suggested by the doctor or dietician.

 If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home senior care in Leesburg, VA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers Home Care in Leesburg. (703) 297-4642

 

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20180919/30-million-americans-now-have-diabetes#1

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/symptoms/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371444