5 Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes in the Elderly

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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that impacts many seniors and disrupts their daily lives. Family caregivers should know as much about the condition as possible, including the warning signs to look for. Knowing these symptoms can help your elderly loved one control diabetes. Here are some of the most common signs of type 2 diabetes in seniors.

1. Weight Gain

Excessive weight gain is often due to insulin resistance, and it makes it difficult for the body to function normally. Insulin helps seniors manage their blood sugar because it assists the cells during the glucose absorption process. When the body is unable to rid the bloodstream of extra glucose, seniors may experience high blood pressure and weight gain. To prevent insulin resistance, your loved one will need to maintain a healthy weight by eating nutritious meals, exercising, and making other healthy lifestyle choices. 

Some seniors who are limited by mobility or cognitive issues may need assistance with choosing wholesome foods and getting exercise. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Montgomery, AL, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

2. Fatigue

When the body is unable to process sugar correctly, energy levels are lowered, causing weakness and flu-like fatigue. Take your loved one to the doctor immediately if you notice this sign of type 2 diabetes. In addition to fatigue, seniors with type 2 diabetes may encounter other flu-like symptoms, including: 

  • Sore throat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sinus drainage 
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Skin rashes 

If your loved one is diagnosed with diabetes, he or she may benefit greatly from the help of a professional caregiver. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust senior care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she lives with an illness and performs the daily tasks of living. 

3. Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is a common warning sign of poorly controlled blood glucose levels, and it’s one of the top symptoms of type 2 diabetes because it can affect seniors at any stage of the condition. Being unable to control his or her blood sugar levels puts your parent at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. When this happens, the high levels of sugar cause body water to be pulled into the eye lens. The lens then swells, leading to blurred vision. 

4. Frequent Urination

When excess sugar builds up in the blood, the kidneys have to work overtime to absorb and filter out the excess sugar, which makes it difficult for the kidneys to keep up, and the extra sugar will excrete in the urine, triggering frequent urination. If your loved one is experiencing frequent urination or increased thirst, this is likely a sign of type 2 diabetes.

5. Gum Disease

Look out for various dental issues, such as infections of the mouth, that could put your loved one’s teeth at risk. Type 2 diabetes can cause the blood vessels to thicken, making it difficult for those vessels to deliver nourishment and oxygen to body tissues, including the mouth. When this happens, the tissue’s waste products don’t get removed. A disruption of the flow of nutrients and removal of harmful waste caused by diabetes can lead to gum disease and infect bone tissue. If your loved one is having dental issues, especially infections, this could be a sign of type 2 diabetes. 

Diabetes can be managed with medical supervision and lifestyle adjustments, so it’s important to be aware of changes—especially ones such as the signs listed above—in your loved one’s health. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service. Montgomery Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Call us at (334) 593-3988 to create a customized in-home care plan.

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