The American Diabetes Association states that 25 percent of people 65 or older have either type I or type II diabetes. The association also estimates that 50 percent of that same age group has pre-diabetes. You’ve learned your mom’s doctor says she has pre-diabetes. What do you do now?
Changes to Her Diet.
One of the most important steps in keeping pre-diabetes from progressing to diabetes is diet. Your mom should eat a diet high in fiber and reduce intake of fats and sugars. Keep her stocked up on vegetables and fruits. Barley, quinoa, farro, brown rice, and bulgur are all grains to keep on hand.
Instead of traditional white flour pasta, switch her to whole grain pasta. Do the same with bread and crackers. Stick to whole grains whenever possible.
Help Her Lose Weight.
If your mom is overweight, losing just 10 percent of her body weight will help her. If she weighs 180, getting down to 162 lowers her risk of developing diabetes. She may be reluctant to diet alone, but if you or some friends join in, she may be far more enthusiastic about losing weight.
Make sure your mom is getting exercise every day. All she needs is 30 minutes to an hour. This can be a brisk walk, swimming some laps in the pool, or using an exercise machine in her home. If she doesn’t want to work out alone, have her join a yoga group, Zumba, or a fitness center where she can work out with friends.
Cut Out Bad Habits.
Does your mom smoke? While it’s hard to give up this addiction, smoking affects her health in more ways than one. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. It also impacts her body’s response to insulin. Alcohol is another thing your mom should give up or at least cut back on if she has pre-diabetes.
Even stress impacts the body’s control of blood sugar levels. Long-term stress can lead to high sugar levels in the blood stream. Avoiding unnecessary stress can help. If stress is a problem, yoga, tai chi, and favorite hobbies can all help her reduce stress.
If your mom feels overwhelmed at home and struggles with proper diet, exercise, and rest, talk to an elderly care specialist. Your mom will benefit from having a caregiver available to help her with meal preparation, walks around the neighborhood, and household chores. Call an elderly care agency to learn more about beneficial home care services available to your mom.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from elderly care in Martinez, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.