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6th May

2015

Tips Senior Citizens with Diabetes

If you have a family member residing at a Hawaii senior assisted living facility, then you may be aware diabetes is a growing problem among seniors. Senior citizens with type 2 diabetes are at a high risk for developing complications and additional health problems. Many recent studies have cited the percentage of seniors over 65 years of age with type 2 diabetes is roughly 20%-25%, a staggering figure.

 

This portion of the senior population often experiences problems with hearing loss, cognitive issues, mobility limitations and even vision problems, largely caused by diabetes that is not properly managed. In fact, even seniors who strictly control their blood sugar levels run a high risk of developing additional health problems.

 

Listed below are some of the more common problems seniors battling with diabetes can develop, along with a few ideas about prevention and management.

 

Problems with Vision

 

High blood sugar for extended periods can create serious issues with vision. Blood vessels surrounding the retina can break, allowing blood to work its way into the eye and ultimately vision may become cloudy or impaired. Hypertension can be a contributing factor to this problem as well.

 

This issue can sometimes be treated effectively, if it is diagnosed early. However, patients with diabetes will always run the risk of this issue reoccurring, if blood sugar is not monitored and managed properly.

 

Loss of Hearing

 

Loss of hearing at varying degrees is a very common problem for senior citizens dealing with diabetes. Elevated glucose levels for prolonged periods can cause significant damage to nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear, causing loss of hearing ranging minor impairment to complete loss. This problem is not a risk exclusive to seniors, anyone with diabetes that is not managed effectively, can experience complications with hearing.

 

Cognitive Issues

 

Recent studies suggest consistently high blood sugar can significantly increase a senior’s risk of developing dementia. While the studies so far are not conclusive, many of them include evidence that elevated glucose levels may be linked to mood swings, memory problems and general cognitive functions.

Managing diabetes is difficult enough on its own, even for individuals without additional health issues. If cognitive problems enter the picture as well, the situation becomes extremely challenging to control.

 

Regular checkups that specifically test for cognitive problems, is always a good idea for seniors with diabetes. Detecting additional health problems early always gives you a better opportunity to manage the situation and find a workable solution.

 

If you have a parent or a family member with diabetes currently living in a Hawaii senior assisted living community, check with the facility to find out how you can get regular screenings arranged for them. Regular screenings and strict diabetes management, significantly decrease the chance of additional health problems occurring.

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