Challenges for Seniors with Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is prevalent in seniors. As people age, their bodies often become more resistant to the effects of insulin. When insulin is no longer effective in metabolizing sugar, blood sugar level rises. This is how type 2 diabetes develops in the elderly.
The ineffectiveness of insulin or decline in the production of insulin causes type 2 diabetes in seniors. It is estimated that over eighteen percent of the elderly have type 2 diabetes. The management of blood glucose levels is important to prevent complications and symptoms of diabetes. Challenges for Seniors with Diabetes face unique challenges in managing diabetes and remaining safe from its complications.
Seniors often face economic constraints that can prevent them from maintaining a supply of insulin. A senior faced with high costs of prescriptions may have to reduce dosages or periodically go without insulin or blood glucose testing supplies. Diabetic seniors may feel forced to cut grocery costs and may reduce the nutritional value of their diet.
People with diabetes should check their feet every day for any evidence of cuts or sores. Injuries on the feet can easily become infected. Seniors may have reduced flexibility that prevents them from thoroughly checking their feet. If they find a sore, they may not have transportation to the doctor to receive care.
Seniors may miss doctor visits due to a lack of transportation. It can compromise their overall health and management of diabetes. Seniors often isolate themselves and therefore lack emotional support to motivate them to effectively manage their diabetes. The elderly who live alone may be at risk for not receiving help from symptoms of diabetes or its complications. This is especially dangerous if the diabetic patient has difficulty controlling their blood glucose level and is at risk of losing consciousness due to high blood glucose levels.
The elderly are at greater risk for complications of diabetes. They may experience nerve damage or problems with their eyesight due to diabetes. Seniors are at greater risk of developing circulation problems associated with diabetes. The risks for diabetes complications is even greater if the individual has had diabetes for a long time.