About 20% of Americans aged above 65 are affected by diabetes. Also because of the effects of aging, weight gain and less physically active lives, a large part of the senior citizen population are also suffering from insulin resistance and a great number of elderly diabetics cannot manage their blood sugar levels.
The major problem with elderly diagnosed with diabetes is most of them are living alone. Their kids have moved out and their partners may or may not be around. So basically, the effect of the disease is stronger, as it cannot be effectively managed by them, alone.
The symptoms of diabetes in the elderly can be disguised, making it more difficult to correctly diagnose the disease. Red flags like – heightened thirst, recurrent urination and vision problems may go unnoticed because all of these symptoms are similar to those seen as a result of aging.
The memory of elderly people is not as sharp as it used to be. This could be because of aging or a host of other reasons. Depression, dementia, mental illness or other mental deficiencies can cause an elderly person to be forgetful. They may miss mealtimes, or be unable to remember to check blood sugar levels or take their medication as prescribed. Senior diabetics may also suffer from lack of proper nutrition and regular exercise.
Diabetes management is an expensive proposition. Many older diabetics have financial restraints that make it difficult to follow through with a proper plan to manage the disease. Medicines are expensive, proper medical supervision is costly, income is limited- all these factors result in the elderly splitting pills to make the supply last longer or taking even more serious steps, thereby putting their health at risk.
E79 – Diabetes and The Elderly – www.diabetic.today