Hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, is a serious problem for older adults, and it can have severe consequences when untreated. Adults over the age of 60 should try to maintain glucose levels between 100 to 140 mg/dL. Below are some of the issues associated with high glucose levels and what your aging loved one can do to maintain healthy blood sugar.
Risk Factors for HHNS
One of the conditions caused by glucose buildup in the blood is hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome (HHNS). Some of the signs of HHNS include extreme thirst and blood sugar levels that are 600 mg/dL or higher. Failing to control their blood sugar could put seniors at higher risk for obesity, diabetes, stroke, and kidney disease. Speak with your loved one about the importance of maintaining glucose levels between 100 and 140 mg/dL. If you’re unsure about how to have the conversation, ask your parent’s primary care physician to discuss the details of the issue with your loved one, including healthy lifestyle choices that can lower the risk of HHNS and other conditions.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elder care. Roseville families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Symptoms of Hyperglycemia
Knowing the symptoms associated with hyperglycemia could prevent your loved one from going into a diabetic coma. Learn as much as possible about the warning signs, and get your loved one medical attention quickly when one or more of the issues becomes ongoing. For example, increased thirst and blurred vision are early symptoms of high blood sugar. When seniors are unable to maintain normal blood glucose levels, they could experience blindness and significant kidney damage.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with hyperglycemia are:
• Frequent urination
• Slow-healing sores or cuts
• Difficulty concentrating
• Weight loss
Your loved one can monitor his or her blood sugar with different methods, including using a test kit or glucose monitor. Both are useful options that can help seniors control their glucose levels and reduce the risk of issues such as diabetes, vision impairment, and dehydration. If your parent uses a test kit, he or she should wait one or two hours after eating to prevent the results from being inaccurate. If the levels are high, take your loved one to the doctor immediately for further testing.
If you usually help your loved one monitor his or her health but you need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Roseville respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
Physical Exercise to Regulate Glucose
Your parent should try to exercise for 30 minutes at least four or five times per week, breaking down the workouts into ten- or fifteen-minute sessions based on his or her abilities and daily schedule. The best exercises for older adults who want to maintain normal glucose levels are cycling, walking, and swimming. These are movements that keep the heart pumping, burn calories, and help seniors maintain healthy blood sugar. Drinking water, eating healthy foods, and monitoring stress levels can also lower the risk of hyperglycemia.
A professional caregiver with training in nutrition and exercise can be an outstanding source of support for your senior loved one. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Call Home Care Assistance today at 916.226.3737 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.