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What Steps Can the Elderly Take to Prevent Diabetes?

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

As people age, their metabolism slows down and activity levels decrease, which makes taking steps to prevent diabetes especially important for the senior population. In recent years, Canadians between ages 60 and 64 had the highest increase in diabetes diagnoses, from 127,608 people in 1998/1999 to 313,521 in 2008/2009. If you are concerned your elderly loved one is at risk for diabetes, Oakville elder care experts discuss a few things he or she can do to prevent the condition.

Practice Preventative Health Care

The first and most important step in any diabetes prevention plan is seeking regular care from a trusted doctor. Seniors cannot afford to wait until problems develop before scheduling medical appointments. Instead, they should have at least 2 routine visits each year. In addition to identifying and treating medical issues like diabetes before they have an opportunity to become more serious, doctors can also offer individualized tips for weight loss and maintenance.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Processed foods are bad for the body at every stage of life. As people grow older, their ability to effectively metabolize and tolerate refined and low-value foods decreases, which makes it important for seniors to consume fresh, home-cooked meals instead of subsisting on fast food and other readymade fare. A healthy diet for seniors consists primarily of fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean cuts of meat, fish, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. Foods with lengthy lists of unrecognizable ingredients, trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and genetically modified additions should be avoided. Sticking to a nutritious diet can help your loved one maintain healthy cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure levels, which can help prevent diabetes.

Perform Aerobic Exercises

It’s important for people to maintain active lifestyles all throughout their golden years, but physical exercise is about far more than weight control. Working out 3 to 5 times per week can make your loved one’s cells more receptive to the insulin his or her body naturally produces. Aerobic exercises like dancing, cycling, jogging, or even walking can actually help the body become more efficient at fending off conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Engage in Strength Training

If your loved one wants to stave off diabetes, his or her workout routine should also include strength training. Building new, lean muscle mass ramps up metabolism and makes the body more sensitive to insulin and more efficient in burning off stored and consumed fats. Strength training can be as simple as doing a few squats or lunges in the living room, and your loved one can also use small handheld weights to increase muscle definition and tone in the arms, abdomen, and mid-back.

If your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy lifestyle to prevent diabetes and other serious conditions, consider hiring an Oakville, ON, live-in home caregiver. At Home Care Assistance, we offer a program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to exercise, eat well, and focus on other lifestyle factors that help them live long and healthy lives. We also offer hourly respite care, all of our in-home care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and there are no hidden fees in our contracts. Call (905) 337-1200 today to speak with a Care Manager and request your free consultation.