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How Senior Living Communities Help People with Diabetes Live Healthy Lives

A health care professional sits down with a senior couple to talk about medication management

Nearly 1 in 10 Americans live with some form of diabetes. And among those people with diabetes, 12 million are ages 65 and over. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2030, diabetes will be the seventh-leading cause of death worldwide. By 2050, the number of Americans with the disease, including diabetes in elderly adults, is expected to rise to 1 in 3. What are the best ways to manage diabetes in the elderly and their best lifestyle and living options? Let’s find out.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a disorder that occurs when the body cannot properly process sugars from food, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Over time, having too much blood sugar can negatively impact one’s health and quality of life. People with diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin, or their bodies don’t use insulin correctly. In either case, insulin resistance occurs, which is a precursor for type 2 diabetes, and which accounts for the majority of all cases. When insulin is not produced at all, it’s called type 1 diabetes.In older people with diabetes, type 2 diabetes is often the result of lifelong eating and lifestyle habits that put them at higher risk for the disease. And though type 2 diabetes is more prevalent, it is also more preventable and treatable when caught in the prediabetes stage. Here are some other risk factors for type 2 diabetes:

  • Being overweight
  • Having more fat around the abdomen
  • Having a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Loss of muscle mass and weight gain after age 45

Diabetes complications in the elderly

Even if a person has managed their blood sugar level for years, controlling it may be more difficult as they grow older and their health needs become more complex. Diabetes can lead to greater risk of heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, eye problems and even stroke, which is why people with diabetes should have ready access to care later in life.

What to do now

For those living with type 2 diabetes, the most important part of treatment is making positive lifestyle choices and eating habits. Regular exercise and a plant-based diet are part of any type 2 treatment plan. Here are some other ways to stay healthy with diabetes:

  • Check your blood pressure often
  • Manage cholesterol levels
  • Don’t smoke
  • Have annual eye exams
  • Check your kidneys yearly
  • Get a flu shot every year
  • Get the pneumonia vaccine if you’re over 65
  • Take care of your teeth and gums
  • Protect your skin
  • Observe your feet and see a podiatrist
  • Keep up with cancer screenings

How senior living communities can help

Older adults with diabetes need opportunities to keep fit through exercise and wellness programs. They need a healthy diet and access to nutritional counseling, as well as access to short- and long-term care and disease management. Our assisted living and skilled nursing living options provide all this if health complications related to diabetes should develop. These are just some of the many advantages of living in a community like Lake Port Square.Our community is also ideal for healthy independent living, making sure you’re eating well and accommodating your special dietary needs.  We make it easy to lead a healthy, active lifestyle that can help keep the clinical signs of diabetes in check.

Though diabetes may put you at higher risk of costly complications as you grow older, the professionals at Lake Port Square can help contain these costs as our professionals provide high-quality care to give you a higher quality of life and a healthier outlook. Discover all the ways we can help. Just contact us through our website, or call 352-585-9352.