Diabetes and the Elderly

Type 2 Diabetes is a growing problem amongst the senior population, and can be difficult to diagnose as there are so many other changes that the body goes through in this stage of life. Symptoms can be masked, or harder to spot, as our bodies adapt to change. Treatment can also differ significantly from younger adults with diabetes and present unique challenges. For example, seniors with disabilities or long-term illnesses may experience complexities in managing diabetes, and in some cases cognitive impairment, such as dementia, can be a challenge.

Treating diabetes carefully in the elderly is important because aging bodies are more susceptible to illness, so complications from diabetes can become more serious. Most diabetic patients will go through significant lifestyle changes in diet and exercise, and adopting a new routine later in life can often be very difficult.

If your elderly loved one is diabetic, prevention of hypoglycaemia (hypos) is essential, and done by ensuring regular meals and snacks are always available. If your senior loved one lives alone, this can be a particular concern to ensure that they always have the food they like, and they are always remembering to eat healthy, regular meals. It is also vital to have sugary, quick snacks like biscuits or juice on hand in the case of a hypo.

Seniors with diabetes to face more complications, but they certainly can self-manage the disease with a bit of organisation and support from their family or a caregiver. If you would like to find out how a caregiver can help your senior loved one manage their diabetes, please get in touch!