Type 2 diabetes is a common disease thousands of seniors are diagnosed with every year. Luckily, most older adults can completely reverse this condition as long as they catch the early warning signs and make extensive lifestyle changes. Here’s a closer look at five of the most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes and a few steps seniors can take to avoid this pervasive disease.
1. Blurry Vision
Whenever there’s excess sugar in the blood, some of the smallest blood vessels in the body may become damaged, which is one of the reasons many seniors with diabetes develop impaired vision. Over the course of a few months, seniors might notice they can no longer see as well at night or objects seem blurry at certain distances. Seniors who experience any vision issues need to schedule an immediate appointment with an eye doctor.
2. Sudden Changes to Energy Levels
Some seniors with diabetes have sporadic bursts of energy followed by overwhelming lethargy. These fluctuations usually take place when the body can’t properly balance insulin levels after consuming sugar or carbohydrates. Sticking to a healthy diet filled with fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates is one of the best ways for seniors with diabetes to stay energized throughout the day.
Seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions may find it difficult to prepare meals on their own, which can result in not getting proper nutrition. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Rocklin seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
3. Increased Thirst
The most effective way to get rid of excess glucose in the blood is through urination, which usually results in dehydration. In the earliest stages of diabetes, seniors may feel thirsty all the time, and they must drink plenty of water until they come up with a long-term treatment plan. As a general rule, older adults should try to drink at least eight full glasses of water every day. Seniors with diabetes might need to double that amount if they urinate frequently.
If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to monitor his or her thirst level closely enough to identify a change, but a trained professional caregiver can do this and much more. 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 manage if their families opt for professional home care services. Rocklin families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
4. Wounds That Won’t Heal
For a wound to heal, blood must circulate through the area to clear away the damaged cells. Blood also triggers the production of vital proteins and growth factors. If the nearby veins are damaged, it could take weeks for a wound to heal, which is why many seniors with diabetes have lingering wounds on their feet, calves, and thighs. Seniors with diabetes must carefully clean and dress their wounds as often as possible to prevent infections.
5. Unusual Sensations in the Extremities
Diabetes also impacts the nervous system, and the nerve endings may begin to misfire if there’s too much glucose in the blood. When the nerves misfire, seniors may feel a tingling or burning sensation in their extremities. This condition is known as neuropathy, and it’s one of the most common side effects of diabetes. While neuropathy isn’t necessarily dangerous, it can lead to permanent nerve damage if the disease remains untreated. Some experts suggest using compression clothing to increase circulation in the arms and legs.
Diabetes is a common disease among seniors, and it’s crucial to diagnose it as early as possible to effectively manage its treatment and replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Rocklin senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at 916.226.3737 today.