Since the pandemic began, we have learned that diabetes is one of the pre-existing conditions that make people more susceptible to COVID-19. Now more than ever, we must be sure to help our seniors with diabetes and ensure their health is up to par. There is no better defense than to have a caregiver who advocates for you and can help with the daily tasks associated with diabetes to help put your mind at ease.
Let’s talk diabetes facts.
- One in ten people in the United States have a form of diabetes. That’s over 34 million people! Out of this, it is estimated that seniors over 65 represent 12 million affected by diabetes.
- Types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes – 5-10% of those with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes. It is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction, meaning the body attacks itself by mistake, and your body stops making insulin. Symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you need to take insulin every day to survive. At present, there is no cure for Type 1 diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes – 90-95% of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. Having type 2 diabetes means your body doesn’t use insulin well and cannot keep blood sugar at normal levels. While symptoms are the same as with Type 1 diabetes, it is common for Type 2 diabetes to go undetected, so it is important to have bloodwork with each physical to ensure you do not have Type 2 diabetes or are not prediabetic. Note that unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with good nutrition and exercise.
- Gestational diabetes – develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before
Managing diabetes is crucial because it can cause serious health problems such as:
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- eye problems
- nerve damage that can lead to amputation
- Additionally, those who develop type 2 diabetes may have a higher risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
How caregivers can help
- Education: – Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming. While speaking with your doctor you may forget to ask questions or even forget some of the answers to the questions you asked. (We all do it!) When a caregiver is involved, the guesswork is eliminated. The caregiver can speak to your questions about diabetes and remind you of your unique details by referring to your case.
- Reminders about testing blood and insulin administration: Having a caregiver reduces stress in medication management. He or she can check to see or remind you to test your blood daily, take insulin, or pick up prescriptions.
- Lifestyle improvements Your caregiver can be instrumental in assisting with improving your lifestyle. Since weight plays into diabetes, your caregiver can help you pay more attention to better nutrition and getting a bit more active for better overall health, which can improve or eliminate Type 2 diabetes.
Our mission is to support you or your loved one in their senior years. We are here for you! Having a caregiver means you will never be alone with your questions about your health. Call us today at 480-588-2650to see how we can help!