According to the American Diabetes Association
, diabetes affects more than 10 percent of the U.S. population. Americans 65 and older account for over 26 percent of those with diabetes. While there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed. Many older adults with diabetes live long and vibrant lives.
Two Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes
occurs when your immune system stops your body from producing enough insulin. This type of diabetes is caused by genes, and may be triggered by viruses, or other environmental causes.
Type 2 diabetes
– the most common type of diabetes – occurs when your blood sugar is too high. People aged 45 and older are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, especially if there’s a family history of the disease or they are overweight and/or inactive.
The Warning Signs of Diabetes
If your blood sugar is high, you may notice some of these symptoms:
Diabetes Prevention and Control
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger or thirst
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infections
- Weight loss
- Sores that are slow to heal
- Numbness and tingling in hands/feet
Schedule physical check-ups and routine eye exams at least twice a year to monitor blood sugar levels and vision changes.
Improve your diet and stay as active as possible to manage your weight. Incorporating age-appropriate exercise, like daily walks, yoga, and even dancing, can improve your symptoms and overall health.
Design a Care Plan That’s Right for You
Talk to your healthcare team for advice and support. If you are a participant in the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
, you can work with your coordinated care team
to create a specialty care
plan for diabetes that may include:
Taking steps to balance nutritious food with exercise and medication (if prescribed) helps older adults keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range for years to come.