Diabetes can be a difficult disease to manage. Older adults may struggle to eat properly and get enough exercise to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range. However, it’s important that they follow the doctor’s advice and really try because uncontrolled diabetes can have some serious complications. If your elderly family member has diabetes and struggles to control it, knowing what kinds of complications may occur can help you to watch for them.
Here are 5 diabetes complications to be aware of:
#1: Vision Loss
Diabetes is a major cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States. Some of the eye problems it can lead to are cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Having regular eye exams and receiving treatment for diabetes-related eye problems can prevent 90 percent of blindness because of diabetes.
#2: Cardiovascular Disease
Diabetes is a risk factor for several kinds of cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery disease, stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis. Older adults can reduce their risks by following a heart-healthy lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising.
Neuropathy is the medical term used to describe nerve damage. Diabetes causes neuropathy by damaging the small blood vessels that feed nerves. Neuropathy results in tingling and numbness in fingers and toes that can worsen over time. If it is not treated, it can result in complete loss of feeling in the limbs.
#4: Kidney Damage
Diabetes can harm the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys that help them remove waste from the body. When the kidneys are severely affected, the older adult can suffer kidney failure or end-stage kidney disease, which may need to be treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Poor circulation caused by diabetes and damage to nerves can lead to infections from sores that don’t heal well, especially in the feet and legs. This can result in even small cuts or blisters not healing well and getting infected. Toes, feet, and legs may have to be amputated to keep infection from spreading to other areas of the body.
Home health care can help seniors with diabetes to take better care of themselves and prevent complications. Home health care providers can remind your aging relative to check their blood sugar and take medications. A home health care provider can also assist with planning and making healthy meals that conform to the diet plan suggested by the doctor or dietician.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in Cleveland NC, please contact the caring staff at TenderHearted Home Care today. (704) 612-4132.
I have enjoyed volunteering my time as the President of the Rowan County Home School Association, assisting with the Parkinson’s Support Group, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Pregnancy Support Center, MOPS International, Capstone Recovery Center, Kairos Outside, Celebrate Recovery, various church committees and going on a mission trip to Moldova. I am a member of the Rowan County Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels board member, REACH of Rowan County, HIPSS of Davidson County, Second Tuesday Business Group and several Christian Business Life Groups.
I am passionate about serving others and providing the most compassionate care possible, as I would want for my own family. I love relaxing with my husband, Peter, and my two dogs, Yoyo and Terra Cotta.