Top 6 Risk Factors for Diabetes in Aging Adults

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Although diabetes is relatively common in aging adults, it is also a preventable disease. Understanding the root causes of diabetes can help seniors stave off this health condition. Here are some of the most common diabetes risk factors for the elderly. 

1. Age

As seniors progress in age, their risk of diabetes increases. Researchers believe that as people age, the ability of the pancreas to produce and pump insulin becomes impaired. Over time, the body’s cells may also become more resistant to available insulin.    If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care service agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

2. Genetics

If your senior loved one’s family has a history of diabetes, your loved one is more likely to develop the disease. Also, individuals of Aboriginal, African, Asian, Hispanic, and South Asian descent are statistically more likely to develop diabetes. It’s unclear how much of this statistical gap is due to social and lifestyle factors and how much is due to genetic predisposition.

3. High Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

Elevated cholesterol and hypertension damage blood vessels in the heart and can lead to obesity and changes in metabolism. The onset of diabetes causes further cardiovascular damage. Maintaining a healthy weight by staying physically active and eating a proper diet prevents many health conditions, including diabetes. If your loved one has high cholesterol and hypertension, make sure he or she takes the prescribed medications on time.

4. Obesity

Being overweight, especially being obese, impairs the body’s use of insulin and puts increased strain on the pancreas. Too much fat in the diet and a sedentary lifestyle are lifelong contributors to diabetes. A lifetime of unhealthy eating wears down the body’s ability to process sugar, and physical exercise often becomes more challenging as the body ages. Encourage your loved one to eat more lean meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. 

5. Inactivity

Adults who don’t regularly engage in some form of physical activity are more likely to become obese and diabetic. Maintaining a healthy weight prevents insulin resistance. Routine exercise not only decreases the likelihood of obesity in seniors but also reduces blood sugar and makes insulin absorption more effective. If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Palm Beach, Florida, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

6. Poverty

Diet and lifestyle are crucial factors in determining a person’s risk for developing diabetes. Individuals with the lowest income levels are more likely to be obese, eat fewer fruits and vegetables, be physically inactive, and smoke, all of which are major risk factors for diabetes. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Palm Beach families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (561) 429-8292 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.

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