7 Ways Older Adults Manage Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body uses glucose — the main source of energy for all the cells in your body. Your risk of developing diabetes increases as you get older and it’s estimated that about 30% of adults 65 and older in the United States have diabetes. 

Having diabetes puts you at greater risk of developing other health problems like heart disease, neuropathy, and kidney disease. That’s why diabetes management is so important. 

At HouseCall MD in the Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles, our primary care team led by Dr. Shahriar Jarchi, MD, specializes in helping older adults manage their diabetes. And, as our practice name implies, we come to you for care.

Here, we want to share some of the ways older adults can manage their diabetes.

1. Partner with your primary care team

Having diabetes is overwhelming. There’s so much to know. But you don’t have to do it all on your own. Partnering with your primary care team is the first thing you need to do when you’re diagnosed with diabetes. 

We tell you all about diabetes, how it affects your health, and what you can do to take back control. With our concierge services, we provide the support you need at your home or in the hospital, making ourselves available to you 24/7.

2. Eat a balanced diet

Nutrition is an important part of diabetes management, but you don’t need to follow a “special” diet. You do need to eat a balanced diet that includes nutritious foods from all the food groups. We also encourage you to try to eat your meals and snacks around the same time every day and eat about the same amount of food every day.

Food is your body’s source of energy (glucose). The goal of diabetes management is to keep your blood glucose levels within normal range. Eating a consistent diet on a routine schedule helps keep your blood glucose levels steady.  

3. Exercise

Physical activity benefits everyone, even older adults with diabetes. Regular exercise burns extra glucose and helps you manage your weight. We recommend 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week. Walking is a great form of exercise.

4. Check your blood glucose numbers

Checking your blood glucose numbers is an important part of your management plan. You or your caregiver can check your numbers using a home glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device. Regular blood glucose checks help you see how food, exercise, medication, and life affect your numbers. 

5. Take your medications

Like diet and exercise, your prescription medications keep your blood glucose numbers steady and they’re an important part of your management plan. Take your medications as directed so you can stay in control of your diabetes and your health. 

6. Stay on top of your health

Diabetes affects almost every organ in your body. Routine medical exams allow us to monitor your health so we can find issues before they turn into diabetes-related complications. In addition to your annual physical exams, we schedule regular follow-up visits to see how things are going. We also offer home diagnostics and therapy so you don’t have to leave your house for lab work and diagnostic testing.

7. Find healthy ways to manage stress

Finding healthy ways to reduce stress is also an important part of your diabetes management plan. High stress levels raise your blood glucose numbers, making it harder to control. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. You can also try yoga, meditation, or massages.

It’s important for older adults to manage their diabetes to prevent complications and continue to live happy and independent lives. Let us help you. Call us at 626-765-4321 or request an appointment online today.