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How to Help Older Adults Ward Off Diabetes

By , 9:00 am on

When diabetes is not managed correctly, it can have devastating effects on the body, causing serious damage to the eyes, kidneys, feet, heart, and more. If your senior loved one is at high risk for diabetes, there are some things you can do to help him or her prevent it or delay it as long as possible. 

Encourage Switching to Water

If your loved one lives on sodas, juices, sports drinks, and other sugary beverages, it’s time to cut back or stop completely. Many studies have shown that people who drink sugary beverages each day are at a greater risk of developing diabetes. Drinking more water can also lower blood sugar and insulin resistance in those who already have diabetes. If your loved one isn’t ready to give up unhealthy beverages just yet, try substituting just one or two a day for a glass of water. 

Switching to water from sugary beverages can be challenging. 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 home care. Huntsville Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Remove Sugar from the Diet

Sugar is a diabetic’s enemy, so it only makes sense that cutting it out of your loved one’s diet can keep the disease at bay. When consumed, sugar breaks down and gets into the bloodstream, and the pancreas must produce insulin to remove it. When the pancreas stops working, the sugar stays in the bloodstream, which can wreak havoc on the body. If your loved one has a sweet tooth, look for sugar substitutes that do not impact blood sugar to make the occasional treat. 

Add More Fiber to the Diet

Fiber is essential for digestion. It’s also a great tool for managing weight. However, studies have shown that getting enough fiber in the diet can lower blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. To get more fiber into your loved one’s diet, try adding some of the following foods: lentils, apples, pears, almonds, avocados, popcorn, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and artichokes. 

Finding time to cook healthy meals for your loved one may be difficult. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Huntsville, AL, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Cut Portion Sizes

Eating smaller meals may also prevent diabetes, no matter what your loved one eats. Studies have shown that people, particularly men, who eat large portions are nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes. Cutting back on portion size can also help your loved one lose weight, which is an important part of diabetes prevention. Try having your loved one eat more protein at each meal to help him or her feel fuller, even if the portion sizes are smaller. 

Eliminate Processed Foods from the Diet 

The majority of your loved one’s diet should be made up of whole foods like lean proteins, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Far too many people rely on the convenience of processed foods for most of their meals, which can lead to diabetes as well as other conditions like hypertension, obesity, and heart disease. Processed foods have too much sodium, contain unhealthy vegetable oils, are packed with preservatives, and generally have a higher refined carbohydrate content. More importantly, they lack nutritional value. When your loved one shops for groceries, encourage him or her to avoid processed foods as much as possible.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elderly care. Huntsville Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at (256) 716-9940 today.