How is Diabetes in the Elderly Treated?

Patti Kate

Diabetes in the elderly is treated by careful monitoring of diet and glucose levels. In many cases, medication such as insulin may be prescribed. Proper treatment of open wounds to prevent infection is another measure taken for diabetes in the elderly.

It can be challenging for elderly people who live alone to properly manage their diabetes.
It can be challenging for elderly people who live alone to properly manage their diabetes.

Elderly patients with type 2 diabetes typically require frequent testing of blood sugar levels. When levels remain high, even with the intervention of medication, serious complications may occur, including life-threatening infections or even blindness. Modification of diet is often recommended for seniors with diabetes. This typically means refraining from sugary foods and foods high in carbohydrates.

Routine exercise may be good for elderly people with diabetes.
Routine exercise may be good for elderly people with diabetes.

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Managing diabetes in the elderly who live alone is often more difficult. This is because many seniors who have mild forms of dementia or other problems with cognizance may not be diligent in taking medication and adhering to the recommended diabetes regimen. It is important for a caregiver to closely monitor the elderly patient.

It's crucial that seniors with diabetes undergo annual vision screenings.
It's crucial that seniors with diabetes undergo annual vision screenings.

Treating diabetes in the elderly often means close monitoring of other medical conditions as well. For example, patients with diabetes may be at higher risk for elevated blood pressure. If hypertension is an issue, it is crucial to treat this condition as well. Often, this may require blood pressure medication.

Diet is carefully monitored in the elderly.
Diet is carefully monitored in the elderly.

Another essential step in treating diabetes in the elderly is to maintain proper foot care. This is because diabetics can be prone to foot infections. Open sores, especially on the feet or legs, are a common problem in advanced cases. This is a particular concern for elderly patients. In many cases, wearing special shoes designed for diabetics may help prevent problems.

Insulin is often prescribed to treat diabetes in the elderly.
Insulin is often prescribed to treat diabetes in the elderly.

Diabetes management in older patients may be helped through routine exercise. This should be with the supervision of a physician. Moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, may be beneficial. In conjunction with physical activity, weight management is another measure that can help keep diabetes in the elderly in check. Patients who are obese or even moderately overweight have a higher risk of diabetes complications, so a physician may recommend weight loss if he feels it is necessary.

Physicians recommend regular diabetes screenings for people over the age of 45.
Physicians recommend regular diabetes screenings for people over the age of 45.

Annual eye examinations are essential for elderly patients with diabetes. Many senior patients with advanced diabetes suffer from vision difficulties. Recognizing and treating vision problems before they become advanced can save a patient's eyesight. Cataracts are a common complication of diabetes, therefore surgery for removal may help prevent vision loss. In addition, simple screenings for glaucoma can prevent blindness from diabetes.

Treating diabetes in the elderly often means close monitoring of other conditions as well.
Treating diabetes in the elderly often means close monitoring of other conditions as well.
Elderly patients with diabetes are at a greater risk for having high blood pressure.
Elderly patients with diabetes are at a greater risk for having high blood pressure.

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