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Treating Diabetic Senior Citizens

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Senior citizens with type-two diabetes are among a unique category of individuals living with this metabolic disease. A new study from the the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care, and the the Journal of the Americn Geriatrics Society has found that people age 65 and older fair differently in how the disease affects them their body; more specifically, their overall health, weight, and life expectancy.

Being such a special group of patients, a basic outline for treatment and care has been organized and worked out for the treatment and care of senior citizens with type-two diabetes.

Among adults aged 65 years and older with diabetes, goals for treating glycemia, blood pressure and dyslipidemia were based on three major groupings:

  • healthy, with few coexisting chronic conditions and intact cognitive and functional status;

  • complex/intermediate, with multiple coexisting chronic illnesses or 2 or more impairments in activities of daily living or mild to moderate cognitive impairment; and

  • very complex/poor health, in long-term care or with end-stage chronic illnesses or moderate to severe cognitive impairment or with 2 or more activities of daily living dependencies. (1)

Although the groupings are general, they are only seen as a simple guide that individual senior citizens may not specifically fall into. Since the nature of type-two diabetes affects each person differently, the care is intended to be personalized to each person's specific condition.

 

Several guidelines have also been released for the screening and prevention of diabetes among this age group. They say that:

  • Older adults should be screened for prediabetes and diabetes as long as they will be likely to benefit from identification of the condition and subsequent intervention.

  • Physical activity and medical nutrition therapy should be encouraged, using simple teaching strategies.

  • Older adults should be screened periodically for cognitive dysfunction, functional status, and fall risk.

  • Older patients should be assessed for hypoglycemia regularly, and their therapy changed if it occurs frequently or is severe.

  • Glyburide should be avoided. Metformin is the preferred initial therapy for type 2 diabetes, as with younger adults, but doses might need to be lowered for patients with severe chronic kidney disease.

  • Use of sliding-scale insulin regimens alone is discouraged in settings outside the home. (2)

The nature of these new types of guidelines in treatment and management of senior citizens with diabetes, is supposed to act as an overall structure for doctors and health care specialist to keep in mind when dealing with each indidividual diabetic senior.

Each physician is also unique in treating seniors with diabetes. The doctors at Healthmark Food and Ankle understand that there are countless amounts of environmental and lifestyle factors that affect each different case of diabetes. If you are a diabetic senior in need of assistance or with questions, contact us at Healthmark. Our doctors treat the whole body not just specific affected areas.

Media, Pennsylvania Office: 610-565-3668

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania Office: 610-933-8644

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