The most up-to-date recommendations from the Endocrine Society about the elderly and diabetes are surprising, to say the least: lower blood sugar isn’t necessarily best. And for people who’ve been keeping a regimen of finger pricks, insulin injections, and careful monitoring of food consumed, this alteration might be rather tough to swallow.
Known as de-intensification, geriatricians are now frequently taking the approach with the elderly that the advantages to be acquired by aiming for exact blood sugar control are not outweighing the health risks inherent with the aging process and illness. When A1c and glucose levels are held at really low levels in the elderly, it might possibly lead to a greater occurrence of hypoglycemia.
With as many as one out of three seniors currently diagnosed with diabetes, these new guidelines are positioned to have an astounding effect on the treatment and management of the disease for older adults, requiring a shift in mindset for most.
And not surprisingly, many older diabetics are reluctant to embrace this change. In one patient’s words to Dr. Pei Chen, a geriatrician in the geriatric clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, “I’ve been doing this for 25 years. You don’t need to tell me what to do. I can handle it.”
The new guidelines recommend an increase in A1c from 7 to 7.5% for older adults who are in good health; and up to 8 – 8.5% for all with dementia, multiple chronic illnesses, or poor health. It is crucial to note, nonetheless, that guidelines are extremely personalized based on a variety of factors, and that at no time should high blood sugar levels be dismissed in the elderly.
Amy’s Helping Hands can help older adults carry out doctors’ recommendations to manage diabetes and a variety of other conditions with professional, customized, in-home care services for seniors. Just some of the various ways we can assist include:
Contact us online or call 519.915.4370 to inquire about our top-rated Windsor-Essex care management and set up an in-home assessment. Let us help you discover a healthier lifestyle for a senior loved one today!