6 Main Diabetes Risk Factors for the Elderly

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The likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age. Some of the risk factors for this disease can be mitigated by making healthy lifestyle choices. Here are some of the top diabetes risk factors for seniors.

Weight

People with a high body mass index (BMI) face a greater risk of diabetes because fatty tissue is more resistant to insulin than muscle is. To lose weight, seniors should adopt a healthier diet and consume foods such as high-fiber cereals, fruits, vegetables, poultry, and fish. Healthy fats like nuts, milk, avocados, and fish oils can also be added to your loved one’s diet. 

A home caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals. If your aging loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a senior care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Family History

If seniors have close family members with type 2 diabetes, their risk of diabetes increases. Your loved one should discuss his or her family history with a doctor, who can then create a health plan to lower your loved one’s risk levels. 

Ethnicity

Scientists aren’t sure why people of certain racial backgrounds are more likely to develop diabetes than others. Seniors who are of African American, Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Asian American, Native American, or Latino descent are at greater risk for diabetes.

Inactivity

Inactivity is one of the most important diabetes risk factors. Physical activity can reduce weight, increase cellular sensitivity to insulin, and help the body maintain healthy glucose levels. Seniors should exercise as a preventative measure against diabetes. 

Physical activity can take many forms, ranging from a walk around the block to strength training. Older adults who want to minimize their risk of diabetes should consider exercising at least 30 minutes daily. Seniors with limited mobility should consider chair yoga, water aerobics classes, and other activities specifically designed for them. You may have to assist your loved one with exercise. 

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional homecare. Fort Lauderdale, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Smoking

Smoking increases the risk of diabetes because it raises blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can lead to this disease. Seniors who enjoy smoking will likely have a difficult time quitting this habit. If your loved one is serious about lowering his or her diabetes risk, giving up smoking is essential. For some seniors, it’s best to quit gradually. Inhalers, patches, and nicotine gum can help them give up smoking. Seniors who need positive reinforcement should try attending local group counseling.

Gender

Men are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women. Male seniors should closely monitor their glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, as they’re linked to the development of diabetes. While senior women are less likely to develop diabetes than men, possibly due to their distribution of body fat, they should still be vigilant about their diabetes risk factors. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional in-home care. Fort Lauderdale families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call +1 754-900-5102 today.