Diabetes is a common disorder in which the body’s blood sugar is too high. With type 1 diabetes, this is because the body is unable to produce insulin. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin daily in order to live. With type 2 diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or is unable to use insulin correctly. Type 2 diabetes is the more common type of the disorder, and it often develops later in life.
Diabetes affects people of all ages, but it can be particularly difficult to manage during one’s elderly years. It can lead to problems with the heart, kidneys, skin, eyes, nerves, legs and feet. These problems can become debilitating later in life, but with proper diet and care it is possible to manage or even avoid the worst complications of diabetes. Here are just a few tips that will help you manage your diabetes and live life to the fullest.
Create a Meal Plan with Your Doctor
One of the most important aspects of managing diabetes is following a strict meal plan, something that a doctor or senior health care services provider can help you with. As a rule, try to avoid recipes that are high in saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, sodium and cholesterol. Some foods that should be included include whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Keep portions to a reasonable size as well. A good way to do this is to keep half of your plate full of fruits and vegetables, a quarter of your plate full of lean protein, and a quarter full of a whole grain.
Regular exercise is a great way to manage your weight and fight some of the effects of diabetes. Speak to your doctor before beginning any exercise program, and try to keep things light. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise several times per week.
Avoid Tobacco Products
Tobacco has an effect on the body that can make a number of diabetes complications even worse. It doesn’t matter if it is smoked or chewed – tobacco should be avoided at all costs. Of course, quitting tobacco is easier said than done, so don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor if you need extra help. There are programs available for anybody who needs them.
Look for Common Complications
Since diabetes can affect your feet, eyes and skin, you should watch for any problems such as cuts, sores and damaged retinas. Protect your feet and avoid walking barefoot if you can. See a doctor if you suspect you have any problems.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Finally, you should always follow any instructions your doctor or caregiver gives you with regards to diabetes. The complications associated with diabetes will get worse as you get older, and the best way to stay healthy is to listen closely to your doctor. If you live in a senior living center, you will have plenty of resources available to you, so make the most of them if you want to make the most out of your life.
With just a little extra work and attention, diabetes can be managed no matter your age. Give yourself a head start on a healthier and happier lifestyle by moving into one of the senior living communities from Concordia Lutheran Ministries. At every Concordia location, residents are provided with the best senior health care services around to improve their overall quality of life. Don’t let diabetes control your life, schedule a tour of your local Concordia campus today and discover how their senior health care services can keep you happy and healthy.
There is always a LOT happening at Concordia! Would you like to stay up-to-date with our news and events? Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter here.