It can sneak up silently and unexpectedly, bringing with it dire consequences and a lifetime of care needs. Diabetes is a very real concern for as many as one in three older adults, and early detection is key to implementing lifestyle changes and a treatment plan to keep it under control. It starts with understanding the red flags of diabetes. If you notice any of the following in a senior you love, be sure to contact the doctor for evaluation.
What Does Diabetes Look Like?
- Oral health problems. Red, painful, swollen gums, loose teeth, dry mouth, cracked lips, and sores are some of the signs of a compromised immune system and increased infections as well as fluctuations in blood sugar.
- Headaches. The spikes and dips in glucose levels are in contrast to the consistent delivery of blood sugar the brain needs, which can cause headaches.
- Peripheral neuropathy. This condition refers to the nerve damage in the hands and feet that is common in diabetes and causes tingling, weakness, numbness, or pain.
- Blurred vision. High blood sugar levels pull fluid away from the lenses in the eyes, causing blurriness, and if left untreated, can even eventually lead to vision loss.
- Thirstiness and increased urination. In diabetes, the kidneys are working overtime to filter out excess glucose. This leads to an increase in thirst, which of course causes the senior to drink more and ultimately urinate more.
- Slow-healing wounds. If bruises and cuts are taking longer than usual to heal, diabetes could be the culprit. This is the result of high blood sugar levels that interfere with the body’s ability to heal.
- Increased cravings for sugary foods. Since diabetes prevents glucose from the foods we eat to reach the body’s cells, it can cause an increase in appetite, even after eating a large meal, and in particular, for sweets.
If a senior you love is diagnosed with diabetes, call on Amy’s Helping Hands, the leading provider of senior care in Windsor, Ontario and the nearby areas. Our caregivers are skilled in helping older adults effectively manage the condition in a variety of ways, such as preparing healthy diabetic-friendly meals, providing transportation to medical appointments, picking up prescriptions, and much more. Contact us at 519-915-4370 for an in-home consultation to learn more about how we can help.