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Diabetes and Seniors: Managing Diabetes as a Caregiver

Diabetes is one of the most pressing health concerns in the United States, currently affecting over 30 million people, and 25% of those diagnosed are 65 years old or older. At Franklin Park® Senior Living, we understand that managing diabetes is no easy task, and it can be especially challenging if you are the caregiver of a senior with diabetes.

We want to provide information to help you and the senior in your life healthily manage diabetes. 

Understanding and Crafting a Diabetic Diet

A healthy diet is a crucial component of managing diabetes. A satisfying diabetic diet can be tough to land on because many of the foods your loved one enjoys may be “off” the menu. Don’t worry, though! There are still plenty of healthy and delicious options available. 

A solid diabetic diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, low-fat dairy, and heart-healthy fish. Avoiding unsaturated fats, like fried foods, and sugary foods (like candy and soda) will also prove beneficial. When in doubt, read the label! When grocery shopping, the Nutrition Facts labels on food will be the key to making the best choices. The American Diabetes Association is a fantastic resource for planning and prepping diabetic-friendly meals.

One pain point for many diabetic diets is going out to eat. However, you can still maintain a healthy diabetic diet and enjoy a night out every so often. You can find a guide to dining out with diabetes on our Franklin Park® blog

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining an active lifestyle is another effective way to manage diabetes. Even participating in non-strenuous activities can help manage diabetes, as exercise and physical activity can increase our body’s sensitivity to insulin. On top of that, it allows our cells to utilize the insulin in our body, and absorb sugar from our bloodstream to use as energy instead of lying dormant. 

Finding time for moderate exercise can be difficult, and we understand that some seniors may find certain exercises challenging. Here are a few moderate exercises that can help the senior in your life manage diabetes:

  • A brisk walk or jog
  • Flexibility and stretch exercises
  • Water aerobics and swimming

Franklin Park® recommends speaking with your loved one’s primary physician before they start any exercise regimen. 

Regular Check-Ups and Doctors

Living with diabetes is manageable, but it is always recommended to have frequent doctor visits. These visits are crucial to seniors, especially those with diabetes, as it ensures they’re maintaining their health. Checking your loved one’s glucose levels will provide you with helpful information pertinent to managing diabetes. Testing these levels frequently will allow you to see if your loved one’s management is on or off track. You will want to speak with your loved one’s physician to understand where their goal glucose levels should be. As a starting point, here is a resource for average blood sugar levels in adults with diabetes.

We at Franklin Park® Senior Living hope you found this guide useful. Though it can be challenging, managing diabetes through healthy lifestyle choices and habits is the most effective way. Check out our blog for more helpful information!