With increasing age, physical performance often declines: You hear and see less well, are less mobile and sometimes not as mentally capable as before. Diabetes further reduces the declining quality of life. However, there are certain points that can and should be taken into account here as well.
In older people with type 1 diabetes or in people with type 2 diabetes who need to inject insulin, acute hypoglycaemia can lead to fallsnblackouts or impaired motor skills, which can have health consequences. The focus of treatment is therefore mainly on preventing hypoglycaemia. It can occur more frequently in elderly people with these diabetes variants because low sugar levels are not noticed as readily by people who have had diabetes for longer, and blood sugar-increasing counter-reactions in the body start later.
Although modern treatments and products now work very well, their use is sometimessometimes difficult with age. For example, when older peopleare no longer able to use their insulin pens or insulin pumps independently. Or if they misunderstand the displayed blood glucose values and react too late to critical values. The current technologytrends also mean that displays and buttons and sometimes small menus are more complicated and require the use of a smart phones - an additional challenge for people with type 1 diabetes in old age.
So what can be done to overcome these challenges with diabetes in old age?
- Diet plays an important rolein order to prevent hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia. Dentures should also fit well so the person can eat proper and sufficiently and malnutrition does not occur.
- Regular exercise also helps: 30 minutes of physical activity five times per week has a positive effect on blood sugar, blood pressure and fat metabolism. Caution should be taken in people with restrictions on the musculoskeletal system or heart problems!
- It also depends on your own attitude. People often neglect doctor'’ visits, medication, etc. as they get older. Self-discipline and motivation are needed here - as well as the thought that the more you take care of yourself, the better off you will be.
- It is also important to receive professional instruction in the use of the treatmentproducts. This is the only way to ensure optimal results, such as understanding alarms for hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia.
- Intuitive products designed for diabetes in older age are also helpful, for example easy-to-use devices with large screens and buttons.
- Modern, automated and adaptive treatment systems facilitate the measurement of values and the administration of insulin.
In old age, there are supportive forms of treatment, suitable products as well as tips and tricks. However, elderly people need to be aware, adapt and react when something is wrong - whether they are dealing with cognitive, physical or other ailments. Although every form of treatment is possible in old age, other life circumstances must also be taken into account in this phase.