Prediabetes affects about 86 million adults in the United States. It isn’t really a disease, but a precursor to one. Most people who develop type 2 diabetes have prediabetes first. Having prediabetes means that the person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Knowing that your aging relative has prediabetes means that there is still time for them to reverse the condition and prevent them from getting diabetes.
WebMD calls prediabetes a “sneaky health condition” because it often has no symptoms. However, there are several things that put an older adult at greater risk for having prediabetes, including:
-Excess Weight: The biggest risk factor for prediabetes is being overweight. Fat can make the body resistant to insulin.
-Waist Size: Men with a waist size of 40 or more inches and women with a waist size of 35 or more inches are at greater risk.
-Eating Habits: Eating certain foods, like red meat and sugary drinks, are associated with the development of prediabetes.
-Lack of Exercise: Being physically active helps to control weight, uses glucose to create energy, and reduces insulin resistance.
-Age: People over age 45 are at greater risk.
-Family History: Having a close relative with type 2 diabetes makes it more likely for a person to develop prediabetes.
If your aging relative has not had their blood sugar tested by a doctor recently, schedule an appointment. If the doctor determines they have prediabetes, treatment generally involves making healthy lifestyle changes, such as:
-Following a Healthy Diet: Eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet can help to control blood sugar levels. The older adult’s diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
-Increasing Activity: Strive for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity per day on most days.
-Weight Loss: Even small amounts of weight loss can make a difference. Once the weight is lost, focus on maintaining a healthy weight.
The doctor may prescribe medications to help lower blood sugar levels. They may also recommend drugs to lower high blood pressure and manage cholesterol levels.
When seniors are diagnosed with prediabetes, home care can help them reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Home care providers can promote weight loss in your aging relative by preparing healthy foods and encouraging them to be more physically active. Home care providers can also remind them when it is time to take prescription medications. In addition, they can monitor the older adult to ensure they don’t take too much medicine, such as by forgetting they have already taken it.
In their spare time, Alan and Stephanie are all about family and enjoy So. California beach vacations, watching their children’s sporting events, reading, participating in church and community activities, watching favorite shows together, participating in Boy Scouts, running and yoga.
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