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Diabetes In Older People

Diabetes is usually a lifelong condition which requires careful treatment. Diabetes occurs when the body fails to make or properly utilize insulin.But as and when it progresses with age it causes certain difficulties for the diabetic patient.

Before we move on to complications let us first understand the symptoms of diabetes.

The major signs include:

  • Fatigue (feeling tired all the time)
  • Hunger (a sharp increase in appetite)
  • Increased thirst (unquenchable thirst)
  • Increased urination (a marked increase of bathroom visits)

The common complications in elderly diabetics include:

  1. High Blood Pressure: Older adults are at an increased risk for high blood pressure which may lead to heart attacks or strokes. It is very important to check pressure regularly and talk to a healthcare provider on how blood pressure can be managed when high.
  2. Depression: People at an older age who are diabetic are at an increased risk of depression as living with diabetes often makes them dependable and makes them feel as a burden. There are many treatments for depression . But because it involves a lot of emotions it is best to get yourself trained by a professional on how you can make your elders comfortable and pull them out of this mental pain. The most common signs of depression include: sadness, losing interest in things, sleep problems, losing weight and finding it difficult to do things.
  3. Falls: Older adults are at an increased risk of falling or injuries. Having diabetes increases this risk even more as it can affect vision and balance.
  4. Urine incontinence:  Diabetes causes loss of bladder control. The nerves may tell the body that the bladder is full but you might actually not be under pressure. Bladder infections are also common with diabetes in elderly. Incontinence is a medical condition and the sooner you treat it the better
  5. Dementia: Elderly have a higher risk of memory problems called cognitive impairment. If you feel the patient is unable to think clearly inform the healthcare provider. It is also important to screen for depression.
  6. Hearing Loss: Loss of hearing is common as people age, and is even more common among older adults with diabetes. Hearing loss slowly worsens over time, making it hard to realize when you are having the problem. If this seems like a condition talk to the healthcare professional to get a hearing test done.

As the number of older people with diabetes increases, outcomes such as the above become greater concerns because of their implications for quality of life, loss of independence, and demands on caregivers . You will need to adapt to the shifting demographics of the disease. Keep a glucometer around as with all this you don’t want to constantly worry of sugar levels as well. The glucometer will help you get sugar reading anytime, anywhere and assess the diabetic person’s current condition.

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