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Conditions Related to Diabetes

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When people eat food, their bodies are normally able to break down the carbohydrates into energy with the use of a hormone known as insulin. If your elderly loved one has diabetes, his or her pancreas may no longer produce insulin or be able to properly use the insulin, which makes blood sugar levels go too high or too low. There are several conditions associated with diabetes. Controlling blood sugar can prevent some of these conditions from occurring.

Kidney Disease

The kidneys are responsible for filtering all the blood in the body and removing excess waste and toxins. High blood sugar levels can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys and prevent them from filtering the blood as they should. End-stage kidney disease requires regular dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Diabetes is a common disease among seniors, and it’s crucial to effectively manage its treatment and replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones as seniors age. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional carers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Newcastle senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea causes continual disruptions during sleep. When seniors have sleep apnea, they stop breathing for up to a minute at a time during sleep. People with diabetes have a 50 percent greater chance of developing sleep apnea than those without diabetes. Sleep apnea increases the risk of experiencing a stroke or heart attack. Wearing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can help your loved one breathe through the night if he or she has sleep apnea.

Diabetic Retinopathy

The retina is a layer of thin tissue in the back of the eye near the optic nerve. It’s responsible for sensing light sent to it by the lens and sending the perceived images to the brain. The eye needs a continual blood supply to function. High blood sugar levels in diabetics can damage the small blood vessels in the eyes, cutting off their supply. The eyes compensate by growing new blood vessels. When these blood vessels grow through the retina, they can bleed and cause blindness, a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Ophthalmologists can use laser treatments to stop blood vessels from growing and halt bleeding.

Heart Disease

The most common cause of heart disease is atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries. When cholesterol levels build up in the arteries, they often rupture. The body sends platelets to seal the ruptures. When these platelets build up, they prevent blood and oxygen from flowing through the body, putting diabetics at an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels can decrease the risk of heart disease.

If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to monitor his or her lifestyle habits closely, but a trained professional carer can do this and much more. Every senior has different needs when ageing in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Newcastle seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.

Nerve Damage

Diabetic neuropathy develops when high blood sugar levels damage the nerves in the body. Approximately 50 percent of people with diabetes develop neuropathy. When the nerves become damaged, it can cause pain and tingling in the feet, hands, or legs. The damaged nerves may also affect the digestive tract and sexual organs. When left untreated, people with diabetic neuropathy may develop sores or ulcers on their feet that can become infected and lead to further complications.

Even if seniors have serious health challenges such as diabetes, they can still live in safety and comfort at home with the help of a trained professional carer. Newcastle elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home carers. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (02) 4089 3000 to learn more about our customised care plans.

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