Understanding Senior Diabetes
Types • Symptoms • Home Care
Understanding Senior Diabetes is important because diabetes is a major health issue that can cause serious complications in the elderly and fundamentally changes the way our loved ones must be cared for.
In this Adult Home Health Care San Diego publication, we take a look at the different iterations of the disease and how to best help your loved one manage this disease.
Types of Diabetes
- Diabetes Type 1
Also known as child onset or juvenile diabetes, Type 1 diabetes makes up only 5% of people with the disease. In this type of diabetes, the body’s immune system, which normally protects you from infection by getting rid of bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances, has attacked and destroyed the cells that make insulin. In Type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on more quickly and be more severe.
- Diabetes Type 2
Type 2 diabetes can affect people at any age and can be preceded by a period known as prediabetes, during which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Some people with Type 2 diabetes may not experience symptoms initially.
Common symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are:
• Frequent urination
• Unexplained weight loss
• Slow-healing sores
Comorbidities & Geriatric Syndromes
Diabetes is associated with increased risk of multiple coexisting medical conditions (comorbidities) in older adults. In addition to the classic cardiovascular and microvascular complications, geriatric syndromes such as Alzheimer’s-type dementia, depression, vision and hearing impairment, and unique nutrition issues also occur at higher frequency and may affect self-care abilities and other health outcomes, including quality of life.
One key factor in achieving a positive health outcome is shared decision-making, in which an ongoing partnership between patient and provider is established. This allows for information exchange, deliberation on choices, and decisive action on decisions. As older patients tend to focus most on their functional status and independence, this approach allows a balance between patient goals and the medical goals that have been established by your medical professional.
Home Care for Elderly with Diabetes
At Adult Home Health Care, Understanding Senior Diabetes we understand that caring for patients with diabetes requires special attention and a higher standard of care. Individualizing treatment for older adults is a top priority in order to ensure a positive outcome for your loved ones.
Understanding Senior Diabetes allows us to focus and improve the quality of life for our patients by establishing a strong caretaker-patient relationship, gaining a thorough understanding of our patients’ needs and educating ourselves, our patients and their families on how to best cope with their disease.