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Glucometer Tips for Seniors | Easy-to-Use Options and Techniques

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Healthcare costs in general and diagnostic tests in particular have skyrocketed recently; therefore, concerned medical practitioners suggest “At Home” testing for several chronic illnesses, including diabetes. This is especially true for individuals belonging to the retired / senior category. Incidentally, self-monitoring is one of the fundamentals of diabetes management. Regular glucometer test allows afflicted senior folks to achieve their glycaemic goal in the most cost-effective manner and thereby live a stress-free life.

However, age is often accompanied by mental and cognitive issues. New-age glucometers tend to be technology-driven and demand people with diabetes adhere to predefined steps/procedures. This creates a “technology gap” between the aged and the device. The good news is manufacturers are addressing these shortcomings so that people with diabetes, especially the aged and those with “Handling” and “Vision” problems, can successfully execute the test without external support.

Today, folks in the 60+ age bracket can choose from a wide range of glucose meters, which are not just user-friendly but demand fewer steps to accomplish the task. If you are a person with diabetes for too long or looking for a senior-friendly glucometer for your family member, this blog is for you.

The Importance of Senior-Friendly Glucometers

For young and active people with diabetes, it is easy to adapt and adjust to new technologies or follow complex test procedures. The same cannot be said for the elderly. Coordinating multiple activities and following strict operational steps can be a daunting experience for such people. This is where a senior-friendly glucose test kit can make a big difference in developing confidence amongst older folks, thereby reducing reluctance. Modern glucometers tend to offer longer “Time out” periods, allowing the aged patient to carry out various activities at a leisurely pace. This is a boon for those with motor control impairment. Today’s glucose machine displays test readings for longer durations. It reduces panic in aged folks who are not agile in their actions.

Large Display and High-Contrast Readings

One of the common complaints of senior folks, vis-à-vis glucometers, is readability. Nonetheless, this is now a thing of the past. Currently, most of the reputed brands offer large displays and high-contrast readings. Even the fonts in the current breed of glucometers tend to be “visually impaired” friendly. This single feature boosts confidence in people with diabetes. Clear and contrasting numbers infuse trust, which in turn allows folks to manage their diabetes in a stress-free manner. If you are looking for a senior-friendly glucometer, make sure you check out the display before clicking on the buy button.

Voice-Assisted Glucometers for the Visually Impaired

For visually impaired young/senior people with diabetes, a voice-assisted glucose test machine can be a lifesaver. However, you need to understand that these devices demand proper training and support. Each step is suitably supported by a human voice which is clear and precise. It not only offers the final result but also warns the user if the said individual has missed a step or the strip is inserted incorrectly. Voice-assisted glucometers also warn the user in case the test strip has insufficient blood samples. In short, every step is monitored by the device and appropriately signalled in voice format. Therefore, it makes sense to opt for the best glucose meter and the one that provides a voice feature.

Simple and Intuitive User Interfaces

While voice-assisted glucometers are great and a perfect tribute to senior people with diabetes, the fact remains that the user interface, too, plays an important role in “at home” diabetes tests. One needs to understand that ageing is often accompanied by learning issues. Moreover, forgetfulness is also a part of this group. A complex user interface with fancy icons and a cluttered environment in the form of unwanted and blinking text can be perplexing for senior people with diabetes.

The idea is to display minimum information. Each button within the software and on the device should display the function clearly using the most lucid/easy-to-understand term. Fortunately, glucometers dedicated to the aged tend to have simple and user-friendly interfaces, as most of these devices undergo usability tests during the designing/mock-up stage. Nonetheless, as a buyer, you need to look into this feature, especially if you are buying for a senior member of your family.

Memory and Logbook Features for Easy Data Retrieval

Yet another common feature in most modern glucometers is the data storage and retrieval feature. While some can be synced with mobile applications and subsequently shared with healthcare professionals directly (via email or downloaded file), others are device-based. Either way, it can be quite overwhelming for senior people with diabetes. However, with the right training and support, even this task can be successfully accomplished by the aged. Make sure you check this feature in detail, as it can be quite complex in nature, especially for those with learning impairment or those suffering from associated diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Search for “glucometer online” and choose the one that fits your bill and needs.

Ergonomic Design for Comfortable Handling

The form factor is one of the most critical elements of a glucose test machine, especially where senior folks are concerned. It is known that most aged folks usually have difficulty holding large objects, even for shorter durations. In such a scenario, ergonomics plays a crucial role. If you are looking for a glucometer for a senior member of your family, your focus should be on the comfort factor. Of course, design contours also play an important role. Ask yourself … has the device been optimised for the old? Does it feel lightweight? Is the grip firm? If the answer to these questions is yes, then this is the one you should opt for. If your glucose test kit is resistant to accidental falls and is available with a protective cap/holder case, then you should go for it.

Blood Sample Size and Pain-Free Testing

Finger-pricking is synonymous with diabetes. Over a period of time, the site from where the blood is drawn becomes sore and subsequently begins to hurt. This is especially true for the aged. Moreover, the large sample size demanded by some glucometers may result in repeat tests within a short time. As someone looking for a sugar test device for the senior, you need to opt for brands that allow drawing blood from alternate sites and also guarantee authentic/consistent readings. Older folks are susceptible to infections, so you should opt for a glucometer that offers maximum protection from these episodes.

Read More: Glucometer Strips: Your Essential Tool for Blood Sugar Monitoring

Important Takeaways

Cognitive / dexterity problems and visual impairment are some of the inherent health issues of the aged. Moreover, frequent lab visits can be a costly affair and time-consuming. Healthcare guides and doctors, therefore, recommend “At-home” glucometer tests. However, it can be pretty daunting for the senior person to initiate and successfully accomplish this task consistently and regularly. Choosing a glucometer dedicated to older folks makes immense sense in such a scenario. As a direct user or someone assisting a senior family member, make sure your chosen glucometer reflects the above features.

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Sakshi Poptani

Sakshi Poptani

As a Content strategist, I have a keen eye for storytelling, brand marketing and community management. I have worked across three sectors - hospitality, technology and healthcare. They have evolved me as a writer and helped me bridge the gaps between storytelling and brand management. I have an unwavering aim of reaching out to as many people as I can. I want to enhance the perspective and insights of both my readers and my own self as I tread further in my journey.

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