According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), one of the primary risk factors for the development of type II diabetes is advancing age. This statistic leaves many family members concerned about their aging loved ones, and with good cause. Fortunately, there are diabetes risk assessments available for seniors which can act as a powerful tool to aid in overall prevention efforts.
There are two main types of diabetes risk assessments for the senior adult. The first is an assessment that can be completed by a senior’s doctor or primary care physician. This assessment will consist of a thorough patient history and physical, questions regarding the senior’s lifestyle, and potentially a fasting glucose test which can help in determining if the senior has what is referred to as pre-diabetes. The second diabetes risk assessment comes in the form of a questionnaire. One can be found online here, as provided by the ADA. The questionnaire will include a few questions that pertain directly to risk factors.
If and when an assessment reveals that the risk for diabetes is high, taking a proactive approach is a must. Family caregivers should work closely with their aging loved one to make lifestyle modifications that will reduce these risks. Changes can include nutritious meal preparation, participation in daily activity and weight loss. Another controllable factor that is commonly overlooked is blood pressure. Taking steps to keep a senior’s blood pressure under control can assist in the prevention of diabetes.
Family members and caregivers should also know that their aging loved one may be reluctant to participate in a diabetes risk assessment out of fear of developing the condition, or fear that they already have it. When this is the case, being supportive is of the utmost importance. Explain the benefits of the risk assessment, and possibly offer to complete it with them. This can help ease fears without being too forceful.
If you are concerned about the health and wellness of an aging parent and are unable to provide the care and support they need, consider help form a professional Phoenix home care agency. With the support of highly trained caregivers and a devoted Care Management Team, you can rest assured that your aging loved one is receiving the help they need when you are unable to be by their side. To learn more about the care options nearest your aging loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 602-388-1085.