A sizeable percentage of newly diagnosed diabetic patients are seniors. Doctors advise elderly Americans living with this disease to manage their blood glucose level so it doesn’t overshoot the normal range. To achieve this, seniors will need to lead a healthy lifestyle, including getting enough physical activity and eating right. Taking diabetes medication on time is another key aspect of managing this condition effectively.
Goals for Seniors with Diabetes
Overall goals of seniors managing their diabetes include the following:
- Give up or reduce smoking
- Have an exercise regimen in place
- Eliminate obesity
- Control hypertension optimally
Each of these goals has the added advantage of lowering one’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes Therapy That is Easy to Plan and Follow
If you are a diabetes patient or have a loved one living with the disease, the good news is you don’t have to struggle to keep your blood glucose level in check. Here are easy-to-follow tips you can incorporate into your life:
1. Dietary compliance: A diabetes meal plan comprises lean meats, veggies, fruits, whole grains, skim milk and dry peas. Grilled, baked or boiled meat in reasonable portions is advised. Non- or less-fatty foods and those with less salt are recommended, as is increasing fiber content by adding whole-grain cereals, brown rice, pasta, and crackers.
While a lower calorie intake is advised for those with diabetes, stringent restrictions are not required. Many long-term care patients already have reduced calorific intake due to their diminished appetite or dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing). Consultations with a dietician or evaluations by care providers can offer more insight into planning an optimum diabetes meal plan. All Carlton assisted living communities, Chateau Pleasant Hill, for example, offer meals that provide seniors the right nutrients on a daily basis. Diabetes-friendly meal choices also help keep weight and blood sugar levels in check.
2. Exercise and healthy living: Along with a healthy diet, it is also important to maintain an exercise schedule. Brisk walking is an excellent way to give your body a good workout. Activities in group sessions, as conducted for the residents at our senior communities, also promote physical and mental well-being.
3. Proper medication regimen: Taking insulin and prescribed medication on time and in the right doses, is critical to keeping your diabetes under control. You may also want to read up on diabetes management on authoritative medical websites or magazines. Just like senior living communities work hard to deliver diabetes care to residents, seniors at home can also take positive steps towards managing their condition, with help from family doctors and loved ones.