Treating the diabetes of an elderly person is decidedly different from treating the disease in someone under the age of 65. With many seniors already taking several medications a day, the potentially harmful side effects and drug interactions with diabetes medication are often overlooked by patients and doctors alike. What’s more, an elderly person with diabetes is also more likely to suffer from other conditions like heart disease, stroke, hypertension, kidney disease and depression — to name a few — conditions that can effect the way an elderly diabetic is treated.
To help, elderly care expert Sally Abrahms offered a few tips for those taking care of an aging loved one with diabetes, adapted from a post on the AARP’s Take Care blog.
- Watch for hypoglycemia.Â Common symptoms for low blood sugar include sweating, over heating, shakiness and a rapid heartbeat. In elders, hypoglycemia can cause confusion, dizziness or changes in behavior, putting them at risk of falls or a decline in cognitive function.
- Can they take care of themselves?Â Abrahms suggests making sure your loved one is able to take care of themselves in case of a diabetic episode. Can they take their insulin on time? Will they be OK if they’re sick? Are they eating? Also, check to make sure they’re taking proper doses of insulin and medication. If they’re not, it could be a sign of cognitive decline.
- Take note of depression.Â Many senior diabetics are depressed. If this is the case for your loved one, talk to address the issue with them and take healthy steps to start treating it.
- Is their medical plan and regimen too complicated?Â An elderly person with multiple conditions may have trouble remembering which medicine to take at what time. Abrahms suggests talking with the doctor to see if things can be simplified.
Are there any other tips for helping a loved one with diabetes? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments.
Physicians Choice Private DutyÂ currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system.Â All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or social workers with no long-term contracts.Â Contact us todayÂ for help withÂ your senior care needs.
“Physicians Choice Private Duty solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”