Diabetes is one of the most prevalent health conditions in Canada, and it can increase a senior’s risk of heart disease, depression, kidney disease, and vision problems. While type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed before the age of 20, many people aren’t diagnosed with type 2 diabetes until they’re much older. Here are a few of the lifestyle choices that can increase a senior’s risk of type 2 diabetes and what can be done to change them.
1. Physical Inactivity
Aerobic exercise is one of the most effective ways to increase blood circulation, lower glucose levels, relieve stress, and strengthen the heart. Seniors should speak with their doctors about safe exercise practices before starting new routines. Due to issues with mobility and balance, high-impact exercises are unsafe for many seniors. Low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking briskly, and using elliptical trainers are often safe and effective.
If your loved one needs assistance with exercise, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
The use of tobacco products can have a major impact on the cardiovascular system, which is one of the reasons smokers have higher rates of diabetes. Within moments of smoking, blood vessels constrict and blood sugar levels increase. Some seniors who overcome their cravings after quitting cigarettes start smoking again simply out of habit. Picking up a new hobby that reduces cravings can be an effective tactic for many people.
3. Unhealthy Diet
One of the biggest risk factors for type 2 diabetes is an unhealthy diet. Seniors who are having a difficult time eating healthy foods may want to start planning out their meals. If your loved one currently has prediabetes, add fresh produce and lean protein to his or her diet. Your loved one also needs to limit the consumption of sugar, simple carbohydrates, and other substances that increase glucose levels. Seniors who enjoy eating out at restaurants must spend extra time planning what they will eat.
Encourage your loved one to limit unhealthy foods and switch to healthy home-cooked meals. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Barrie, ON, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
Both mental and physical stress can raise blood glucose levels and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is why seniors must find ways to effectively control their stress levels and avoid stressful situations. Many different tactics can be used to manage stress, such as keeping a journal, reading inspirational books, meditating, socializing, exercising, and spending time outdoors. Playing with a pet for just a few minutes a day can also lower stress levels by increasing the production of endorphins.
Dietary practices, a sedentary lifestyle, medications, and physical ailments can have an impact on a senior’s weight. However, even being slightly overweight can drastically increase the risk of developing diabetes. Seniors who are having a difficult time losing weight should speak with their doctors about their options for physical therapy or potentially changing their medications. Some seniors need to work with multiple specialists to permanently change their lifestyle habits.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Barrie Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 647-970-3803 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.