Being overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle are risk factors for diabetes, and seniors have an elevated chance of developing the condition. However, promoting general health and wellness can help seniors prevent diabetes. Encourage your aging loved one to implement the following lifestyle changes to avoid diabetes.
Encourage Good Nutrition
A balanced diet that includes whole grains, vegetables, and healthy protein sources, such as fish, chicken, nuts, and beans, can prevent type 2 diabetes. Since most processed foods contain hidden sugar and salt and offer few nutritional benefits, encourage your loved one to avoid prepackaged snack foods, microwave meals, and even “health” foods like granola. Bacon, hot dogs, and other processed meats should also be limited to special occasions, as they contain high levels of fat, sodium, and harmful preservatives such as nitrates.
Seniors who need help maintaining a healthy diet should consider in-home care. When considering elder care, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
Limit Sugary Foods
Pastries, cookies, and sugary drinks can contribute to health problems, including obesity, digestive issues, and liver damage. However, beyond these obvious culprits, fruit juices with added sugar, potatoes, and foods with refined carbohydrates also rank high on the glycemic index. Foods with an elevated glycemic rating generally convert quickly into glucose, which can damage the kidneys over time. Your loved one can still have sweets and other items that have a high glycemic rating on occasion, but consider moderating his or her intake of these foods.
Promote Regular Activity
Exercise regulates blood sugar. Because many seniors become less mobile with age, they have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Help your loved one follow a regular exercise schedule by finding senior-friendly activities that get the heart rate up and the blood circulating. Depending on your loved one’s mobility, a family member or professional caregiver can help him or her go for daily walks, bike rides, or swims.
Caring for a loved one with diabetes can be challenging. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Carmichael, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Suggest Regular Medical Checkups
Your loved one’s physician should keep close track of your parent’s blood sugar levels for any signs of prediabetes. The sooner warning signs are noted, the sooner your loved one can make further preventative lifestyle changes. Encourage your loved one to visit the doctor at least two times a year and report any symptoms that could be related to blood sugar, including dizziness, thirst, tiredness, hunger, weight loss, or weight gain.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Carmichael senior home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. If you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (916) 485-4663.