One in every four people over age 60 has diabetes in the United States, according to the American Diabetes Association. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, is unique in that it’s largely affected by lifestyle factors, many of which can be controlled through preventative measures, including the following.
1. Eat Clean
Highly processed carbs and refined sugars, in particular, significantly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a Harvard study. Seniors can follow a healthier diet and naturally balance their blood sugar levels by opting for:
- Bright-colored fruits and green leafy veggies
- Fish rich in healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids
- Leaner cuts of pork and beef and lean meats like turkey
- Baked and broiled foods instead of anything fried
- Low-fat dairy products
A professional caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals. If your elderly loved one needs Huntsville live-in care, turn to Home Care Assistance. We offer a program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to focus on eating nutritious foods, exercising on a regular basis, maintaining strong social ties, and other lifestyle factors known to increase longevity.
2. Stay Active
Remaining active naturally reduces HDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increases circulation, strengthens muscles and bones, and keeps key vital statistics in check. Seniors need about an hour and a half of aerobic activity per week to stay healthy, according to the World Health Organization.
Aging adults may require assistance with exercise as well as other daily activities. Homecare 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.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is the top lifestyle risk factor for type 2 diabetes. A healthy body weight for seniors varies based on activity level and height. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an acceptable BMI (body mass index) ranges between 18.5 and 24.9.
4. Have Regular Checkups
Going to the doctor for periodic checkups means any warning signs that may indicate type 2 diabetes can be spotted early. Developing slowly, diabetes symptoms can include frequent urination, increased thirst, vision problems, and slow healing of sores or cuts. Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age. Seniors in particular can experience a wide range of related issues if the condition goes undetected and untreated. Taking preventative steps sooner rather than later can allow seniors to enjoy a more productive quality of life.
Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust Huntsville senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives. Call Home Care Assistance at (256) 716-9940 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.