Diabetes is a disease that commonly affects older Americans. In fact, one in four of those over the age of 60 will come down with this serious disease. As a caregiver, it’s important to know the signs that someone suffering from high blood glucose levels may exhibit.
The Early Warning Signs
The signs of diabetes can be confused with other illnesses. If your loved one is exhibiting any of the following, it’s best to make an appointment with their primary health care provider as soon as possible. The earlier the treatment begins, the better the prognosis.
- Frequent urination. You may notice your parent going to the bathroom more often, or they may complain of the constant need. They may also have difficulty getting to the bathroom on time or have to make frequent trips throughout the evening. Due to the frequent urination, you will find they are also drinking more in their body’s attempt to rehydrate.
- Blurred vision. Faulty vision is one of the first signs of diabetes. It is caused by the lens of the eye swelling up due to changing fluid levels.
- Hunger and fatigue. The body is no longer making enough insulin, a hormone that helps glucose (the body’s sugar and energy source) get into cells. Without this supply, the body becomes tired and looks for ways to increase energy by eating more.
- Itchy skin. Because of the loss of fluids, the body becomes dry resulting in itchy skin.
The longer your parent has unmanaged diabetes, the greater the chances of them developing one of the many diseases associated with this sometimes debilitating disease. Making sure they keep both their blood sugar and blood pressure in check will help them bypass these possible complications.
- Diabetic neuropathy is caused by damage to the nerves and generally affects the feet and legs. It can be felt as a burning or tingling sensation and can lead to chronic pain. It can also result in numbness leading to an increased susceptibility to falls.
- Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease caused by high blood glucose level’s damaging affects to the capillaries found in the retina of the eye. Diminishing or blurry vision may be the first sign and, if untreated, can lead to blindness.
- Heart disease and stroke can be caused by damage to the arteries of the heart and brain.
Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight tend to be precursors to the development of diabetes. Help your loved one maintain a good weight by providing quality foods that fall under a diabetic meal plan such as the plate plan or carbohydrate counting. Make sure they get daily exercise. If movement is a problem, consider water aerobics. The reduced pressure on joints due to water’s buoyancy can help make exercising much easier and enjoyable.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of senior care in Massapequa, NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!
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