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What Are Common Signs of Diabetes in Seniors?

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Diabetes may be asymptomatic, or it may cause several distressing symptoms. Sometimes symptoms don’t appear until late in the progression of the disease, while at other times they may appear very early. Here are some of the most common symptoms of diabetes in the elderly and what you can do to help your senior loved one prevent diabetes-related complications.

Frequent Urination

Frequent urination can be especially challenging for aging adults to manage because many of them already have problems with urinary frequency and incontinence. If your loved one complains about frequent urination, especially if it’s accompanied by the voiding of large amounts of urine, make an appointment with the physician to order a serum glucose test to determine if your loved one is hyperglycemic.

Seniors with mobility issues or health challenges that make it difficult to get to the bathroom on their own can benefit greatly from the help of a trained professional caregiver. Des Moines elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Visual Disturbances

Diabetes can cause an ocular disorder known as diabetic retinopathy, which refers to damage to the blood vessels behind the retina. If your loved one experiences blurred or dim vision, double vision, or diminished peripheral vision, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a detailed eye examination to evaluate the retina. If diabetic retinopathy is suspected, your loved one may be referred to a retinal specialist.

Increased Thirst

If your loved one seems unusually thirsty, have him or her checked for diabetes. While most people become thirsty as a result of a high-sodium diet or from medications that cause oral dryness, diabetes-related thirst isn’t easily quenchable. Although you can purchase a simple “dipstick” urine test at your local pharmacy to check your loved one’s urine for excess glucose, he or she will need to be evaluated by a physician. If your loved one has diabetes, effective treatment may resolve the excessive thirst. Increased thirst can have serious effects on seniors with diabetes, especially if they take medications such as diuretics that further increase urinary frequency. Having to urinate often may keep your loved one up at night and lead to daytime sleepiness and anxiety.

If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to monitor his or her thirst level or urination frequency, but a trained professional caregiver can do this and much more. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Des Moines seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Poor Wound Healing

If your loved one sustains a scrape, cut, or other type of skin breakdown that fails to heal in a timely manner, take him or her to the doctor to rule out diabetes. In addition to poor wound healing, elderly diabetics may develop stasis ulcers on their ankles, which is related to poor circulation. While stasis ulcers typically develop in those who have long-standing or poorly managed diabetes, they can also develop in early-stage diabetes. Once diabetes is effectively treated, wounds may heal faster.

Because diabetes is a common condition among seniors, it’s crucial for family caregivers to be able to identify its symptoms so treatment can start as soon as possible. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Des Moines senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Call Home Care Assistance at (515) 264-2438 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.

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