Elders and Diabetes: Caring for the Most Vulnerable

Each November, communities bring awareness to diabetes and its impact on Americans’ health and well-being. Diabetes is a devastating disease to more than 30 million Americans, with over 60 million more at risk for developing this chronic disease.

Individuals with diabetes often experience other health complications like heart attacks and stroke, problems with eyesight, tingling or pain in the feet or legs, kidney disease and other conditions.

Healthcare costs associated with treating diabetes topped over $327 billion in 2017. Medical expenditures averaged 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes.

These statistics may catch your attention, but there is a very vulnerable population of individuals with diabetes-the oldest and frailest- whom don’t get the attention they deserve.  Older adults over the age of 65 are six times more likely to develop diabetes and often experience severe complications. Educating ourselves about the management of diabetes can help protect those most at risk. Continue reading to learn some simple interventions.

 

 

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Elders and Depression: Mealtime Tips to Improve Emotional Health

Autumn is in full effect for most of our country.  We see it in the changing landscape, from falling leaves to farmers bringing in the harvest.

As seasons change, you may also notice a change in your elderly clients’ mood showing up as irritability, continued sadness, changes to sleep patterns, problems with memory or concentration or loss of appetite.  While many mistake these changes as a normal part of aging, they may actually be caused by depression.

Many primary care physicians overlook depression symptoms in older adults because they are focused on treating chronic disease. Depression is a serious medical condition that requires treatment.

Seniors with depression have higher overall healthcare costs – as much as 50% more than those without depression.

If you are interested in controlling healthcare costs and improving client care, continue reading..

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Vital Nutrition: Caregiver Tips for Improving an Elder's Appetite

We know that sometimes just getting an elder to eat can be a challenge.  They may tell their caregiver they are not hungry, or food just doesn’t appeal to them.  Research has confirmed time and again that good nutrition can improve chronic conditions and increase an elder’s vitality.

Trouble chewing or swallowing, side effects of medication,  chronic disease and even loneliness can all contribute to poor appetite.  No matter the cause, eating poorly leads to weight and muscle loss, decreased strength and mobility and a greater risk of falls or entering the hospital.

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Nutrition Support to Fight the Flu: Tips for Protecting Elders

 

There are many things we can do as caregivers to protect our elderly clients – covering coughs, washing hands and getting our own flu vaccine.  But we often overlook one thing – an elder’s own immune system. It is true that the immune system in older adults is slower to recognize and rid the body of germs. But a slower immune system can still do its part in protecting against the flu and other viruses. Here are a few simple tips for immune support.

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