Nov 9, 2017 by Katie Fielmann
November is American Diabetes Month. This is advantageous since the holiday season can be particularly difficult for seniors trying to control their diabetes, and nearly one in four seniors over the age of 60 suffers from this disease. Left uncontrolled, diabetes can be quite serious with complications including high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease, blindness, and nerve damage, which can lead to amputations. In honor of American Diabetes Month, Comfort Keepers senior home care offers the following suggestion to help seniors manage their diabetes and keep their blood sugar levels stable.
Sleep. While this may seem like an odd suggestion, the excitement of the holidays and disruption of standardized schedules may make it difficult to sleep. Research suggests that sleep loss can make it more difficult for seniors to control their blood sugar, since people who are tired have a tendency to overindulge in foods higher in fat and sugar. The more a senior's regular sleep routine can be maintained, the easier it will be to control their diet.
Exercise. Not only does controlling weight help with the control of diabetes, but regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to regulate blood sugar long-term. Sadly, holiday festivities often interfere with daily or weekly exercise routines. The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives that can take be performed without preparation at home or on the road. For example, going for a brisk walk, 30 minutes of yoga, riding a stationary bike, or stepping it out on a treadmill can all do wonders for the waistline and sugar levels.
Eat. Eating may seem like the very thing a diabetic senior ought to avoid during the holidays, but consuming regular, nutritious meals and snacks actually helps maintain positive blood sugar levels while avoiding the urge to overeat during the main holiday meals. High-fat and high-sugar foods may also be substituted with diabetic-friendly foods. For example, mashed potatoes may be replaced with a cauliflower mash and deserts can be substituted with any number of sugar-free alternatives. Seniors who require help with daily living activities may find Comfort Keepers senior home care assistance provides much needed meal preparation support, especially during the holiday season.
In short, the holidays may be a challenge for seniors with diabetes. This American Diabetes Month, seniors should take the time to plan for their holidays and prepare a strategy for success. For more information about American Diabetes Month, Comfort Keepers, or the many ways senior home care can benefit your senior loved one, contact a senior home care coordinator today.
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