Diabetes is usually a lifelong condition which requires careful treatment. Diabetes occurs when the body fails to make or properly utilise 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.
Major signs include:
- Fatigue (feeling tired all the time)
- Hunger (a sharp increase in appetite)
- Increased thirst (unquenchable thirst)
- Increased urination (a marked increase in bathroom visits)
The Common Complications in Elderly People With Diabetes:
- 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 blood pressure regularly and talk to a healthcare provider on how blood pressure can be managed when high.
- 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 like a burden. The most common signs of depression include: sadness, losing interest in things, sleep problems, losing weight, and finding it difficult to do things.
- 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 the elderly. Incontinence is a medical condition and the sooner you treat it the better.
- Dementia: Elderly people 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.
- 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 realise when you are having the problem. If this seems like a condition, talk to a healthcare professional to get a hearing test done.
To sum up
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 about sugar levels as well. The glucometer will help you get a sugar reading anytime, anywhere and assess the diabetic person’s current condition.