As age, being overweight, and a sedentary lifestyle are all risk factors for diabetes, seniors have an elevated chance of developing the condition. However, Palm Beach home care experts suggest that promoting general senior health and wellness can help seniors prevent diabetes. Encourage your loved one to implement the following lifestyle changes to help him or her avoid diabetes.
1. Encourage Good Nutrition
A balanced diet that includes whole grains, vegetables, and healthy protein sources, such as fish, chicken, nuts, and beans, can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Since most processed foods contain hidden sugars and salts and offer few nutritional benefits, encourage your loved one to avoid prepackaged snack foods, microwave meals, and even “health” foods, like granola. Bacon, hot dogs, and other processed meats should also be limited to special occasions as they contain high-levels of fat, sodium, and bad preservatives, like nitrates.
2. Limit Sugary Foods
Pastries, cookies, and sugary drinks can contribute to health problems, including obesity, digestive issues, and liver damage. However, beyond these obvious culprits, fruit juices with added sugars, potatoes, and foods with refined carbohydrates also rank high on the glycemic index. Foods with an elevated glycemic rating generally convert quickly into glucose, which can damage the kidneys over time. Your loved one can still have sweets and other items that have a high glycemic rating on occasion, but consider moderating his or her intake of these foods.
3. Promote Regular Activity
Exercise helps regulate blood sugar and maintain healthy weight. Because many seniors become less mobile with age, they have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Help your loved one follow a regular exercise schedule by finding senior-friendly activities that get the heart rate up and the blood circulating. Depending on your loved one’s mobility, a family member or Palm Beach part-time caregiver can help your loved one go on daily walks, bike rides, or swims.
4. Suggest Regular Medical Checkups
Your loved one’s physician should keep close track of his or her blood sugar levels for any signs of pre-diabetes. The sooner warning signs are noted, the sooner your senior loved one can make further preventative lifestyle changes. Encourage your loved one to visit the doctor at least two times a year and to report any symptoms that could be blood sugar-related, including dizziness, thirst, tiredness, hunger, weight loss, or weight gain.
Though it is a manageable condition, preventing diabetes is better for your loved one’s overall health and wellbeing. If you’re concerned about implementing a healthy and safe daily routine for your loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our expertly trained hourly and 24-hour caregivers in Palm Beach can provide the type of help your loved one needs to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan, including meal preparation and mobility assistance. To learn more about how a caregiver can help promote senior health and wellness, give a Care Manager a call at 561-429-8292 and set up a free in-home consultation.