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How Many Seniors Have Diabetes?

Medicare To Pay $450 To Help Seniors Lose Weight, Avoid Diabetes

Medicare To Pay $450 To Help Seniors Lose Weight, Avoid Diabetes

Oscar and Teri Lara of Rancho Bernardo were diagnosed with prediabetes a few months ago, a condition 86 million Americans share. That means the retired couple live with a greater chance they’ll develop diabetes, which can lead to heart, nerve, kidney and eye disease, and an early death. Some 86 million Americans live with prediabetes, which can progress to diabetes, a costly and debilitating disease. A new program can help people lose weight, a proven way to reduce the risk of getting the disease. The Laras are lucky. Nine in 10 Americans don’t know they have prediabetes, but the Laras were caught early. They have an opportunity to alter their diets, reduce their sugar intake and lose weight, and likely postpone or prevent that trajectory. On advice from their doctors, they enrolled in a special lifestyle class, part of the Scripps Diabetes Prevention Program, much like the curriculum that will be offered to Medicare beneficiaries across the country, free of charge, starting Jan. 1. “This class changed my thinking about what I eat, how much I eat, how to stay focused, and how to maintain a healthy regimen of proper nutrients to put into my body,” Oscar Lara said. Instead of chomping down on bread and burritos, it’s broccoli, brussel sprouts and salads. $450 for a few pounds of flesh Providers who run Medicare’s year-long programs will receive up to $425 per participant if attendees take all the classes and lose 5 percent of their body weight during the year; $450 if they lose 9 percent. If attendees miss classes, drop out, or fail to lose that much — or gain it back — the programs will be paid incrementally less. In 2012, the direct medical costs for 29 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. was an estimated $176 billion, including hospital, Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes In Seniors: Symptoms & Care

Type 2 Diabetes In Seniors: Symptoms & Care

My career working with older people began 25 years ago at Community Services for the Blind, where friends, staff, volunteers and clients had lost their sight due to complications from diabetes. Some died at an early age. Today we know much more about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of type 2 diabetes than we did then. Nevertheless, the disease has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., afflicting more and more people at younger and younger ages. Type 1 diabetes affects 5% of all people with diabetes and occurs mostly in people under the age of 20. In this condition, the pancreas produces insufficient insulin to maintain normal glucose (blood sugar) levels. The vast majority of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by hyperglycemia (excess blood sugar) and insulin resistance. It can cause not only vision loss, but kidney failure, nerve damage, cardiovascular (heart and other artery blockage) disease, as well as increased infections and slowed healing, sometimes resulting in the need for amputation. Type 2 diabetes in seniors is particularly problematic. Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms The most common initial symptoms of type 2 diabetes are increased thirst and frequent urination. Excess glucose in your bloodstream sucks water from tissues, forcing you to want to take in more liquid. Type 2 diabetes is frequently asymptomatic for many years, before initial tell-tale signs of the disease emerge. These include: Flu-like Fatigue Feeling lethargic, tired or chronically weak can be a sign of type 2 diabetes. When your body can't process sugar properly, you'll have chronically low energy. Weight Loss or Weight Gain Because your body is trying to make up for lost fluid and fuel, you may eat more. The opposite can also happen. Even though you eat m Continue reading >>

Seniors And Diabetes: Latest Info And Actions For Family Caregivers

Seniors And Diabetes: Latest Info And Actions For Family Caregivers

Many of our senior loved ones have diabetes — 25.9%, or 11.8 million seniors over 65 are affected, according to the American Diabetes Association. That includes both cases that have been diagnosed and those that are undiagnosed. A diabetes diagnosis means our blood glucose (sugar) level is too high. The higher the level, the greater the risk for complications. It is also estimated that 50% of seniors have pre-diabetes which is a higher than normal level of blood sugar not yet diabetic. This is the point where prevention strategies can be effective if you are aware of the diagnosis. Diabetes Care Challenging Caring for person with diabetes can be complicated and challenging for family caregivers. There are many complications from diabetes that family caregivers are struggling to prevent including heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, gum disease, nerve damage, amputations and heart attack or stroke. As a result we work very hard to manage the symptoms in our senior loved ones, follow a diabetic meal plan and help them get plenty of exercise. Unfortunately, diabetes continues to be the 7th leading cause of death in the US as of 2010, with the diagnosis of diabetes taking an estimated 4-11 years off the life expectancy for our senior loved ones. Because dealing with diabetes can become more difficult as your senior loved one ages, it is important to understand the risks of uncontrolled diabetes and the ways you can help manage it to help keep them healthy. Latest Challenges for Seniors with Diabetes There continues to be more information about diabetes coming out of the research lab every day. The more we learn, the better able we are to treat it and even prevent it from occurring. Here are some of the more recent issues associated with diabetes in our senior loved o Continue reading >>

Baby Boomers Will Become Sicker Seniors Than Earlier Generations

Baby Boomers Will Become Sicker Seniors Than Earlier Generations

The next generation of senior citizens will be sicker and costlier to the health care system over the next 14 years than previous generations, according to a new report from the United Health Foundation. We're talking about you, baby boomers. The report looks at the current health status of people ages 50 to 64 and compares them to the same ages in 1999. The upshot? There will be about 55 percent more senior citizens who have diabetes than there are today, and about 25 percent more who are obese. Overall, the report says that the next generation of seniors will be 9 percent less likely to say they have good or excellent overall health. That's bad news for baby boomers. Health care costs for people with diabetes are about 2.5 times higher than for those without, according to the study. It's also bad news for taxpayers. "The dramatic increase has serious implications for the long-term health of those individuals and for the finances of our nation," says Rhonda Randall, a senior adviser to the United Health Foundation and chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions, which sells Medicare Advantage plans. Most of the costs will be borne by Medicare, the government-run health care system for seniors, and by extension, taxpayers. Some states will be harder hit than others. Colorado, for example, can expect the numbers of older people with diabetes to increase by 138 percent by 2030, while Arizona will see its population of obese people over 65 grow by 90 percent. There is some good news in the report, too. People who are now between 65 and 80 years old have seen their overall health improve compared to three years ago. And people who are aging into the senior community are far less likely to smoke than earlier generations. "Some of these trends are very good an Continue reading >>

Diabetes Management For Seniors

Diabetes Management For Seniors

The risk of diabetes is typically elevated among the elderly, in part because senior citizens may be less likely to be physically active and more likely to gain weight. Although diabetes places seniors at an increased risk of numerous health complications, it is possible to live life well with diabetes.Skilled nursing services from a home health care agency serving Milwaukee can help seniors manage their condition properly. Blood Glucose Monitoring Blood glucose monitoring is crucial for diabetes management. Unfortunately, many seniors have problems with this. Some seniors may have dexterity issues that prevent them from properly using the blood glucose meter. Others may have vision loss and cannot read their results. A home health care plan can include skilled nursing services to help seniors monitor their blood glucose as directed by their physicians. Medication Management Similarly, it’s often difficult for seniors to properly manage their diabetes medications. They may forget to take oral diabetes medications, inadvertently take extra dosages, neglect to refill prescriptions, or have trouble administering insulin injections. A registered nurse (RN) case manager from a home health care agency can organize medications, and administer injections and oral diabetes drugs. Meal Preparation Lifestyle choices such as diet have a significant effect on diabetes management. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for seniors to make unhealthy food choices or skip meals altogether. This can easily lead to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, which can be dangerous for a diabetic. Seniors with diabetes can benefit from having an elderly caregiver take them grocery shopping for healthy ingredients. Elderly caregivers can even prepare diabetes-friendly meals for seniors and provide mealtim Continue reading >>

Healthy Aging Facts

Healthy Aging Facts

For most older adults, good health ensures independence, security, and productivity as they age. Yet millions struggle every day with health and safety challenges such as chronic disease, falls, and mental health issues—all of which can severely impact quality of life. Chronic Disease Approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two. Four chronic diseases—heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes—cause almost two-thirds of all deaths each year. Chronic diseases account for 75% of the money our nation spends on health care, yet only 1% of health dollars are spent on public efforts to improve overall health. Diabetes affects 12.2 million Americans aged 60+, or 23% of the older population. An additional 57 million Americans aged 20+ have pre-diabetes, which increases a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In a 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program for people at high risk for developing diabetes, lifestyle intervention reduced risk by 71% among those aged 60+. 90% of Americans aged 55+ are at risk for hypertension, or high blood pressure. Women are more likely than men to develop hypertension, with half of women aged 60+ and 77% of women aged 75+ having this condition. Hypertension affects 64% of men aged 75+. Falls Every 15 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 29 minutes, an older adult dies following a fall. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of fractures, hospital admissions for trauma, and injury deaths. Falls are also the most common cause of older adult traumatic brain injuries, accounting for over 46% of fatal falls. The nation spends $30 billion a year treating older adults for the effects of falls. If we can Continue reading >>

Medicare Will Cover Diabetes Prevention Program For At-risk Seniors

Medicare Will Cover Diabetes Prevention Program For At-risk Seniors

HHS Secretary Announces Expansion of Reimbursement for CDC-Recognized Diabetes Prevention Programs like Omada Health San Francisco, CA (March 23, 2016) – Acknowledging diabetes as one of the most pressing issues facing the American healthcare system, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today that Medicare will begin reimbursing CDC-recognized providers like Omada Health for administering the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to eligible beneficiaries. On the sixth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, Secretary Burwell’s announcement underscores Medicare’s commitment to value-based care by extending the agency’s investment in chronic disease prevention. Today, more than half of all Americans over the age of 65 have prediabetes, and fewer than one in ten are aware they have the condition. Without intervention, one third of those with prediabetes will likely progress to type 2 diabetes in the next three years. In 2014, Medicare spent more than $15,700 per beneficiary with diabetes, and according to the Diabetes Care Project, one of every three dollars spent by Medicare goes to treating individuals with the condition. “Today’s commitment by HHS quite literally extends a lifeline to 22 million American seniors with prediabetes,” said Omada Health co-founder and CEO Sean Duffy. “We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work with CMS, Medicare Advantage plans, health systems, and physicians across the country to make a profound impact in these individuals’ lives. By elevating evidence-based diabetes prevention as the reimbursed standard of care, Secretary Burwell has acknowledged the urgency of addressing what has become a national epidemic. We look forward to continuing to provide data, evidence, and impl Continue reading >>

Helping Senior Patients Better Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Helping Senior Patients Better Manage Type 2 Diabetes

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can be life changing. From significant dietary alterations to lifelong medication management, type 2 diabetes requires seniors to make many lifestyle adjustments, and often leads to a different relationship with food altogether. For older adults especially, the disease can lead to serious complications, many of which have to do with a condition called hyperglycemia: a state of elevated blood sugar levels that can persist in seniors who are not properly controlling their diabetes or receiving adequate diabetes care. And the disease is on the rise in the elderly population: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The prevalence of diabetes among adults aged 65 and over increased by more than 50 percent between 1997 and 2006.” We know that diabetes is not simply a metabolic disease that changes the body’s ability to make and utilize insulin. It’s also a disease of the vascular system, as excess glucose (sugar) in the blood damages blood vessels. Complicating matters further, older adults with diabetes have a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, renal disease, eye disease, and death than their younger counterparts. Undoubtedly for these seniors, the disease exacerbates the physical and emotional difficulties they already face as they age. Successful diabetes control is due, in part, to the small everyday choices senior patients and their caregivers make. You have the unique opportunity to educate them on what it takes to live well with the disease, as well as what to do when they are feeling ill in order to head off a crisis. Here’s how to help your elderly patients stay on top of their diabetes care, no matter where they are in their disease progression. Medical Care and Diabetes Education Studies show that wel Continue reading >>

Too Many Seniors With Diabetes Are Overtreated

Too Many Seniors With Diabetes Are Overtreated

HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to treating seniors with diabetes, new research suggests that doctors often don't cut back on medications, even when treatment goals are surpassed. The study found that when people had potentially dangerous low blood sugar levels, just 27 percent had their medicines decreased. And when blood pressure treatments lowered blood pressure levels too much, just 19 percent saw a reduction in their medications. "As people get older, the risks of overtreating become greater, and the benefits become shorter. We have to start emphasizing that more isn't always better," said study author Dr. Jeremy Sussman, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a primary care doctor at the Ann Arbor VA System. The findings were published online Oct. 26 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Practice guidelines generally focus on intensifying treatments for people with diabetes, to ensure that their blood sugar and blood pressure are at levels that have been shown to reduce complications, such as heart disease. But, with greater pressure to meet these treatment goals, overtreatment has now become an issue, the study authors said. To get a better idea of the scope of the problem, the researchers reviewed U.S. Veterans Health Affairs records for more than 211,000 people with diabetes between 2012 and 2015. All were aged 70 or older. The study participants were receiving treatment to lower blood pressure or blood sugar levels. The study excluded people taking medications known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) for blood pressure, because these medications have additional benefits beyond lowering blood pressure. The rese Continue reading >>

Aging Well With Diabetes

Aging Well With Diabetes

Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life. –Daniel Francois Esprit Auber America is aging. The number of senior citizens, ages 65 and older, in the United States is growing faster than the number of younger people. It now exceeds 40 million, making up about 13% of the total population. Experts estimate that by 2030, one in five U.S. citizens will be considered an “older American.” The older population is also living longer than in years past, with many seniors living for 15, 20, or more years past the typical retirement age. Given the sheer number of adults over 65, this population is now classified as “younger old,” “older old,” and “oldest old.” The “younger old” are those between the ages of 65 and 75, the “older old” are those between ages 75 and 85, and the “oldest old” are those who live past 85 years. Regardless of specific age, as a person gets older, his risk for a chronic illness such as diabetes rises. In fact, almost 26% of Americans ages 65 and older have diabetes — in most cases, Type 2 diabetes. In addition, one out of two people this age has a condition called prediabetes, in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. (Prediabetes often leads to the development of Type 2 diabetes.) Both prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes — and, of course, Type 1 diabetes — merit serious attention from the person who has it and his health-care providers. All of these conditions can lead to a reduced quality of life and to long-term health complications if not cared for properly. For people with prediabetes, medical care should focus on lifestyle changes that may reduce the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. For people with diagnosed diabetes, ongoing diabetes se Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Older Adults

Diabetes In Older Adults

What is the epidemiology and pathogenesis of diabetes in older adults? According to the most recent surveillance data, the prevalence of diabetes among U.S. adults aged ≥65 years varies from 22 to 33%, Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Older People

Diabetes In Older People

On this page: Diabetes is a serious disease. People get diabetes when their blood glucose level, sometimes called blood sugar, is too high. The good news is that there are things you can do to take control of diabetes and prevent its problems. And, if you are worried about getting diabetes, there are things you can do to lower your risk. What Is Diabetes? Our bodies turn the food we eat into glucose. Insulin helps glucose get into our cells, where it can be used to make energy. If you have diabetes, your body may not make enough insulin, may not use insulin in the right way, or both. That can cause too much glucose in the blood. Your family doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in taking care of people with diabetes, called an endocrinologist. Types of Diabetes There are two main kinds of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin. Although adults can develop this type of diabetes, it occurs most often in children and young adults. Type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body makes insulin but doesn’t use it the right way. It is the most common kind of diabetes. It occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults, but it can also affect children. Your chance of getting type 2 diabetes is higher if you are overweight, inactive, or have a family history of diabetes. Diabetes can affect many parts of your body. It’s important to keep diabetes under control. Over time, it can cause serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and circulation problems that may lead to amputation. People with type 2 diabetes also have a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease. What Is Prediabetes? Many people have “prediabetes.” This means their glucose levels are higher than normal but Continue reading >>

Half Of Adults In The U.s. Have Diabetes Or Pre-diabetes, Study Finds

Half Of Adults In The U.s. Have Diabetes Or Pre-diabetes, Study Finds

A national wake up call to intensify efforts to control the obesity crisis with added focus on diet, exercise and monitoring blood sugar According to a study published online in JAMA today, nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition where a person already has elevated blood sugar and is at risk to develop diabetes. Diabetes, a condition where blood sugar is elevated, may reflect lack of production of insulin to lower blood sugar (Type 1) or insulin resistance (Type 2), generally the result of obesity, poor diet or lack of exercise leading to the metabolic syndrome. Diabetes is a costly disease in the U.S, racking up an estimated 245 billion in 2012, related to consumption and utilization of health care resources as well as lost productivity, according to the researchers in the study. Diabetes can damage blood vessels, the eyes and kidneys, also resulting in poor wound healing and devastating soft tissue infections. And nearly 71,000 persons die annually due to complications associated with diabetes, based on recent statistics from the American Diabetes Association. Investigators in the study defined undiagnosed diabetes as those persons having a fasting blood sugar greater than 126 mg/dl or a hemoglobin A1C > 6.5 %, a measure of long term glucose control. Pre-diabetes was defined as having a fasting blood sugar 100-125 mg/dl, or a hemoglobin A1C of 5.7-6.4%. Researchers evaluated 5,000 patients who were part of a national survey designed to assess the prevalence of diabetes and explore trends in different subgroups and ethnicities. Results from the study indicated that in 2012, between 12% and 14% of adults had diabetes, the most recent data available. The majority of these diabetics are type 2, the result of poor diet, obesity an Continue reading >>

Diabetes Prevention And Care For Seniors

Diabetes Prevention And Care For Seniors

Half of all Americans age 65 or older have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Half of all Americans age 65 or older have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. An estimated 11.2 million (nearly 26 percent) Americans over age 65 have already been diagnosed with diabetes, a figure that will continue to increase if no action is taken to prevent diabetes in this population. Furthermore, one out of every three Medicare dollars is spent on diabetes. However, it is known how to prevent and/or delay type 2 diabetes so these trends do not have to continue. Diabetes Prevention Tips Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthy foods, becoming more physically active, and losing a few extra pounds—and it's never too late to start at any age. Making a few simple changes in lifestyle now may help a person avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney, and heart damage. Consider the latest diabetes prevention tips. Get More Physical Activity There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help with weight loss, lower blood sugar, and boost sensitivity to insulin to keep blood sugar within a normal range. As people get older, aging joints can make it more painful to exercise, but being sedentary will only make problems worse. If a senior is able, both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greater benefit comes from a fitness program that includes a bit of both. Many seniors make walking part of their daily routine because it’s low-impact, fun, and convenient. Senior swim classes and sessions are another great way to get low-impact exercise. Senior Centers and organizations are a good resource for finding senior fitness and exerc Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes Statistics And Facts

Type 2 Diabetes Statistics And Facts

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Read on to learn some of the key facts and statistics about the people who have it and how to manage it. Risk factors Many risk factors for type 2 diabetes include lifestyle decisions that can be reduced or even cut out entirely with time and effort. Men are also at slightly higher risk of developing diabetes than women. This may be more associated with lifestyle factors, body weight, and where the weight is located (abdominally versus in the hip area) than with innate gender differences. Significant risk factors include: older age excess weight, particularly around the waist family history certain ethnicities physical inactivity poor diet Prevalence Type 2 diabetes is increasingly prevalent but also largely preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in adults. The CDC also gives us the following information: In general Research suggests that 1 out of 3 adults has prediabetes. Of this group, 9 out of 10 don't know they have it. 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 8.1 million may be undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. About 1.4 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in United States every year. More than one in every 10 adults who are 20 years or older has diabetes. For seniors (65 years and older), that figure rises to more than one in four. Cases of diagnosed diabetes cost the United States an estimated $245 billion in 2012. This cost is expected to rise with the increasing diagnoses. In pregnancy and parentingAccording to the CDC, 4.6 to 9.2 percent of pregnancies may be affected by gestational diabetes. In up to 10 percent of them, the mother is diagnosed w Continue reading >>

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