July 18, 2019

Learn how blood sugar may negatively impact diabetes in seniors.

The most recent guidelines from the Endocrine Society regarding diabetes in seniors are unexpected, to say the least: lower blood sugar is not always best. And for individuals who have been maintaining a routine of finger pricks, insulin injections, and careful track of food consumed, this alteration could be somewhat hard to swallow.

Referred to as de-intensification, geriatricians are now frequently using the strategy with seniors that the benefits to be gained by striving for strict blood sugar control are not outweighing the health risks inherent with the aging process and illness. When A1c and glucose levels are kept at very low levels in the elderly, for example, it might possibly lead to a greater occurrence of hypoglycemia and even kidney failure.

With as many as one out of three older adults currently identified as having diabetes, these new guidelines are positioned to have a staggering effect on the treatment and management of the disease for seniors, requiring a change in mindset for many.

And not unexpectedly, many older diabetics are unwilling to embrace this change. In one patient’s statement to Dr. Pei Chen, a geriatrician in the geriatric clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, “I’ve been doing this for 25 years. You don’t need to tell me what to do. I can handle it.”

The latest guidelines recommend an increase in A1c from 7 to 7.5% for seniors who are in good health; and up to 8 – 8.5% for people with dementia, multiple chronic illnesses, or poor health. It’s worthwhile to note, nonetheless, that guidelines are extremely personalized centered on various factors, and that at no time should high blood sugar levels be neglected in the elderly.

Continuum can help seniors follow physicians’ guidelines to manage diabetes and a number of other conditions with professional, customized, in home health care in St. Louis and nearby areas. Just some of the various ways we can assist include:

  • Grocery shopping to ensure the senior has a good amount of healthy food choices readily available
  • Meal planning and preparation in adherence to virtually any prescribed dietary plans
  • Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments, tests, and procedures
  • Motivation to engage in doctor-approved workout programs
  • Medication reminders to make sure prescriptions are taken at the correct time as well as in the proper dose
  • And much more!

We strive to provide the best in home health care St. Louis and the surrounding areas have to offer. Contact us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 to ask about an in-home assessment and access a healthier lifestyle for a loved one you adore.