Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. It should be considered a warning sign that the person is at risk for developing full-blown diabetes. In fact, it may mean that the heart, kidneys, and blood vessels are already being damaged. Diabetes can be prevented, though, if the person takes steps to change their lifestyle and break the bad habits that may lead to diabetes. If your senior parent has any of these bad habits, it may be wise to break them now before lasting damage occurs.
Consuming Sugary Drinks
Drinks like non-diet soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit punch, sweet tea, and fruit drinks can all lead to a rise in blood sugar. In addition, they are high in calories, which can lead to weight gain. Excess weight is one of the risk factors for prediabetes. Drinking just one 12-ounce can of soda is the equivalent of eating 10 teaspoons of sugar and contains about 150 calories. Instead of sugary drinks, opt for infused water, tea with zero-calorie sweetener, or a refreshing glass of ice water.
Frequently Eating Out
If your parent eats out often, they may be increasing their risk for prediabetes. That’s because when they eat out, it’s much harder to control the ingredients that go into the food, so they could be consuming more carbohydrates and sugar. Your parent can eat out occasionally, but they should try to choose healthy menu items and ask for sauces on the side. To avoid the need to go out for meals, try preparing meals ahead of time that your parent can just pop into the microwave. Also, keep healthy snacks on hand that are easy to grab and require no preparation, such as cut fresh vegetables.
Spending Too Much Time Watching Television or Using the Computer
Inactivity is one of the risk factors for prediabetes. When your parent spends much of their day engaged in sedentary activities, they may not be getting enough physical activity. Physical activity is important because it helps the body to burn off glucose, makes the body better able to use insulin, and helps with weight control. Rather than sitting around watching television, encourage your parent to get involved in physical activities like gardening, golfing, a senior exercise class, or walking.
If you recognize some of these bad habits in your senior parent, taking steps to break them now could prevent your parent from becoming diabetic. A senior care provider hired through an agency can help your parent to live a healthier life and reduce their risks. Senior care providers can help by preparing meals at home for your parent so that they do not need to go out to eat. Senior care providers can also make healthy snacks that your parent can grab on the go. Senior care providers can also help your parent to be more active by walking with them or driving them to exercise classes.
If you or an aging parent are considering in-home senior care in Paradise Valley, AZ, please call the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care. Serving North Phoenix, Glendale And Surrounding Areas. Call Us 602-362-6610.