When your older family member was diagnosed with diabetes, the doctor may have prescribed medications to help control blood sugar. In addition, it’s likely the senior sees their doctor more frequently to monitor the condition. But, even if they are taking the medication as directed and attending all of their doctor appointments, their diabetes may still not be well controlled. If that’s the case, making some lifestyle changes could make the older adult’s diabetes more manageable.
Below are some lifestyle changes to try.
People who are overweight or obese can make it harder to keep blood sugar levels under control. Losing even a small amount of weight can make a difference. Experts recommend setting small goals for weight loss, such as just 7 percent of total body weight. This means that if the older adult weighs 250 pounds, losing only 18 pounds can make a difference.
Eat Healthy Foods
Seniors with diabetes need to follow a healthy diet. Experts recommend limiting the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. It’s especially important to limit or even avoid simple carbohydrates, which are found in things like cake, cookies, sugary drinks, and candy. Instead, the senior’s diet should be focused on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein.
Increase Physical Activity
Physical activity helps with weight loss and also lowers blood sugar by using up sugar to produce energy for the body. If your aging relative isn’t currently exercising, it’s a good idea for them to talk to a doctor first and ask about the kinds of exercise that might be appropriate for them. Any kind of physical activity will help with diabetes management as long as it gets the heart pumping and raises a bit of a sweat. Seniors should aim for about 30 minutes of activity per day on most days of the week.
Stress can increase blood sugar levels, so managing it is also a good way to manage diabetes. In addition to raising blood sugar levels, stress may also cause the older adult to forget to take medicine or make choices that aren’t healthy. Some ways to reduce stress are meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. Engaging in activities that the older adult enjoys can also help them to get their mind off the things that worry them.
Senior care can help your aging relative to make lifestyle changes for managing diabetes. A senior care provider can help to prepare healthy, balanced meals that improve blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Glenview IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.