Seniors facing type 1 diabetes (T1D) since youth face a high risk for other health problems like cognition, mobility, dexterity, vision, hearing, depression, and chronic pain. All of these health issues have the ability to interfere with the body’s ability to follow complex insulin regimens, so management of diabetes becomes more difficult as your loved one continues to age. Basically, your diabetic senior has the possibility of becoming old faster and caregivers can help with valuable activities like eating, activity, treatments, and standard daily routines.
Caregivers are able to help your loved ones with T1D are living longer than ever, even with home care. With caregivers who can help your senior at their own home, your loved one may have challenges associated with T1D but can still continue to live well with diabetes in their golden years.
Adult vs. Childhood Diagnosis of Type 1 Diagnosis
Commonly diagnosed in childhood, about 25% of people with T1D are diagnosed as adults. This may even be as late as their 80s or 90s, adding the available benefits of having a caregiver for your loved one if they face this late diagnosis. Without the familiarity of treatments and life changes that it can take to manage a life with diabetes, it is helpful to have someone in your senior’s daily life to help them control blood sugar levels and overall health and wellness.
Adult-onset diabetes can be different than what children experience, including some more serious consequences and concerns with health management. Some of these concerns include things like detectable C-peptide levels and the ability to achieve lower A1C levels with less serious hypoglycemia than those without detectable C-peptide concentrations. With earlier onset T1D also associated with the longer burden of diabetes-related complications for your seniors. Seniors facing the T1D diagnosis often are forced to face worse glycemic control, followed by potential chronic complications such as renal disease and severe hypoglycemia.
Caregivers Partner with Your Senior Facing Diabetes
Caregivers are often helpful at home with the daily tasks that your seniors need for their healthcare and other regular routines. There is no reason for your loved on to feel that their T1D requires the treatment of hospitals or doctors on a regular basis just to maintain their health. With quality caregivers they are able to keep up good physical activity, diet, and management of their diabetes on a regular basis. Some of these caregivers may come from healthcare providers, while others may be chosen specifically on your part for the beloved seniors in your life. It is important to have caregivers who keep up with their T1D needs, and even if there are other medical needs in the process, it is important that the T1D remains an issue of management and discussion.
Caregivers are often able to work with your senior to help keep all issues of their T1D and other medical needs currently presented to their physicians. Luckily, home care or senior care is focused on the needs of your loved one and all of the details that will help make sure that T1D does not diminish the health of your loved one.
Challenges in the Management of Type 1 Diabetes in Older Adults
Whether it is new or longstanding T1D in seniors, increased risks of severe hypoglycemia, micro- and macrovascular complications, cognitive decline, and physical disabilities are challenges involved with the illness. The elderly can face other medical comorbidities or functional disabilities, erratic food intake, and insufficient social support. Whether your senior may have other geriatric syndromes like chronic pain, urinary incontinence, polypharmacy, cognitive impairment, frequent falls, or depression, there may be additional difficulties if your loved one attempted to manage diabetes alone, making caregivers helpful in the long run. The goal is to minimize hypoglycemia and severe hyperglycemia to preserve the quality of life, and help can do that.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Middleburg, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.
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