Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for a senior with diabetes is crucial for ensuring quality of life as the aging process continues. Knowledge of these healthy habits, as well as a realistic regimen that a senior can follow, is essential for implementing a beneficial daily routine. While maintaining healthy habits is important for all seniors, it is especially important for seniors who have diabetes, as a wholesome lifestyle can help to mediate this disease.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a unique disease as it comes in various forms and can affect people who differ drastically in age as well as overall health. A person develops diabetes when the body’s pancreas doesn’t release insulin in response to glucose. This prevents the glucose from being utilized as energy.
Type 1 versus Type 2?
Type I diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes, occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly categorizes the insulin-producing cells, or islet cells, within one’s body as foreign, thus seeking to destroy them.
Type II diabetes, also known as non-insulin dependent or adult onset diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. A patient is diagnosed with type II diabetes when their body consistently produces too little insulin. This prevents glucose from entering the cells, and can cause cells to break down, thus making this individual insulin resistant.
What are the Healthy Habits that a Senior with Diabetes Should Consider?
Because of the nature of diabetes, it is necessary for patients with this disease to take certain precautions in regards to lifestyle and the constant maintenance of blood sugar. Some healthy habits that a senior with diabetes should consider are:
- Making a meal plan
- Maintaining a realistic physical activity regimen
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Managing stress levels
- Checking blood pressure regularly
- Taking medication consistently
- Not using tobacco
Ways to Encourage Healthy Habits
While diagnoses and maintenance of diabetes can be intimidating, there are efficient ways to encourage seniors with diabetes to maintain these healthy habits on a daily basis.
A meal plan is arguably one of the most important healthy habits that a senior with diabetes can focus on. One can encourage the senior to utilize meal planning by explaining that these techniques will help improve their overall blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while keeping their weight on track. Another way to encourage the use of meals plans is by suggesting the use of a doctor or dietitian to help create a meal plan that suits the individual. This may help in relieving stress that could be associated with crafting a meal plan. A successful meal plan typically includes foods such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy products, beans, fish, and lean meats.
While it may be easy to start an exercise routine, maintaining that routine is much harder. One may encourage a senior with diabetes to remain active by focusing on positive self-talk. If positive self-talk is not successful, one can try to encourage the senior to record their daily activity. This helps to keep the senior more accountable and to see the difference that is being made on a daily basis. In addition, mixing up the senior’s daily routine, finding an exercise buddy, and sticking to methods of physical activity that are enjoyable are all ways to encourage daily activity for seniors.
Maintaining a low level of stress is important for preventing exacerbation of any disease. One can encourage seniors to lower their levels of stress by not taking on excess responsibilities. For example, if housekeeping has become too much of a burden for a senior as they continue to age, we offer housekeeping services that will aid in relieving this stressor.
Taking one’s daily medication is a crucial healthy habit to maintain as a senior who is managing diabetes. Encourage this routine by setting a daily alarm or by hiring someone who is able to act as a live-in medication reminder.
Diabetes Care With Options In-Home Care
A senior with diabetes may need more consistent care and reminders that are crucial for encouraging these healthy habits on a daily basis. Please contact the experts at Options In-Home Care of Orange County today if you have a loved one who needs this type of care. We have a highly-trained staff of care providers that can help you get the care you and your loved ones deserve. Call today to ensure a better, brighter future for those you care about.