Do you or your elderly loved one need a wake-up call about your health and how you should be protecting it in the course of your senior care journey? March 22 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a nationwide health observance designed to raise awareness about the risk of developing diabetes and what people can do to reduce their own risk and the risk of those they love, as well as how to manage the disease if it does develop.
Some things that you should know about this potentially devastating disease include:
- Upwards of 29 million people throughout the country currently have diabetes
- Of these, approximately 1 in 4 do not know that they have the disease
- Nearly 90 million American adults have a condition referred to as “prediabetes”, a stage at which blood sugar levels are elevated but are not yet at a point at which it can be considered diabetes
- Adults of non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, Alaska Native, and American Indian ethnicity are at approximately twice the risk of developing diabetes than those not of these ethnicities
- Those who develop diabetes are at a dramatically increased risk of a wide variety of health complications including stroke, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, vision loss, and even the need for amputation, as well as increased risk for early mortality
As daunting as the statistics about diabetes are, it is important to note that type 2 diabetes is highly preventable. American Diabetes Association Alert Day is all about encouraging people to understand and evaluate their personal risk for the disease so that they can make the necessary modifications to their lives to reduce this risk and move forward with a healthier, stronger lifestyle.
On Alert Day, use these risk factors to determine if your aging loved one may be at increased risk for developing diabetes:
- Family history of diabetes, particularly a mother, father, sister, or brother who has or had the disease
- Being overweight or obese
- Being a man. Though men are not necessarily more likely to develop the disease, they are far more likely to have it without being diagnosed because they are less likely to go to the doctor regularly or to bring symptoms or health concerns to the attention of the doctor
- High blood pressure
- Inactive lifestyle
- High body mass index, which is the measure of your height as compared to your weight
If you are unsure of your parent’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association website and have your aging loved one take the simple, fast quiz designed for Alert Day. This straightforward evaluation will let you know her risk level as well as the risk factors that she is facing. You can then discuss your concerns with her doctor so that she can get the full examination that she needs to truly determine her risk, as well as personalized recommendations for how you can reduce these risks and help your parent live a healthier quality of life moving forward.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care services in Cave Creek, AZ, contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at (480) 725-7002.
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