Diabetes is an inability of the human body to process sugar properly. It is preventable and treatable yet exists in almost epidemic levels in the United States. Though scary at any age, diabetes can be especially problematic for seniors and can result in serious diabetes complications, especially when other health problems may be of concern. At Spring Hills, our assisted living, post-acute care and home care services urge you and your loved one to manage the disease through continued education and follow these guidelines on preventing and treating diabetes.
Knowing the Signs
Diabetes is especially dangerous for seniors as it can make them more susceptible to developing conditions that damage organs of the body and can make it more difficult for them to heal from injury. There are often no obvious signs that Diabetes is developing but initially, someone might experience more thirst and urinate more frequently. When someone has diabetes, they will often experience:
Fatigue, lethargy and chronic weakness – similar to what you would experience when someone gets the flu.
A change in weight – weight gain can occur because your body tries to overcompensate for lost fluid and fuel, or weight loss because your muscles are not getting enough fuel.
Numb, tingly or burning extremities – decreased circulation causes nerve damage, and the extremities are often where you feel the effects first.
Vision loss or blurring – sugar is being pulled from the lenses of your eyes and blood vessels are deteriorating in your retina.
Gum disease – your gums are more susceptible to redness and inflammation, putting your teeth at risk.
More infections and slow healing – urinary tract infections become common in seniors, and their wounds make take a long time to heal.