The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that there are more than 84 million adults in the United States who have prediabetes. Sadly, 90 percent of them don’t know they have it. Prediabetes is a precursor to developing full-blown diabetes. If your aging relative hasn’t been evaluated by a doctor for prediabetes, it’s a good idea to know more about the condition and its risk factors.
When a senior has prediabetes, it means that their blood sugar level is elevated, but it hasn’t yet reached the level required to diagnose diabetes. In the past, you might have heard it called “borderline diabetes.” Prediabetes indicates that there is a problem with the body’s ability to make or use insulin.
Having prediabetes not only increases the risk of getting diabetes, it also raises their chances for heart disease and stroke. But, the good news is that prediabetes is manageable through lifestyle changes.
Prediabetes Risk Factors.
Risk factors are things that doctors have identified as making a person more likely to develop a certain condition. The risk factors for prediabetes include:
- Age: People who are aged 45 and older are more likely to be prediabetic.
- Weight: Carrying excess pounds increases the risk.
- Family History: If the older adult has a parent or sibling with type-2 diabetes, they have a higher chance of getting prediabetes.
- Sedentary Life: A lack of physical activity on three or more days per week is a risk factor.
- Gestational Diabetes: Women who had gestational diabetes while they were pregnant or who had a baby that weighed 9 pounds or more are at higher risk.
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Prediabetes.
While there is nothing your older family member can do about their age or their family history, they can still make some lifestyle changes that will help modify other factors, like weight and physical activity. Some steps to take are:
- Losing excess weight.
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet.
- Getting more exercise.
- Quitting smoking.
- Getting more sleep at night.
Senior care can help older adults to make changes to manage prediabetes. When your aging relative has senior care, they can eat better because the senior care provider can make healthy meals. If the person has difficulty planning meals or shopping for groceries on their own, senior care can help create a menu that includes plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. They can even offer transportation to the grocery store. Senior care providers can also help the older adult to be more physically active by assisting them to move more around the house, go for walks, or by driving them to fitness classes. And, knowing that help will be available just might help your loved one to sleep better at night with fewer worries.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional senior care in Helena, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.
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