Senior citizens with diabetes face increased risk
Nearly one out of every four senior citizens will be diagnosed with diabetes, and with those diagnoses comes risks that might not occur for younger patients, area experts say.
The cause of the increased number of diagnoses is two-fold, said Lucy Cole, diabetes program administrator for Franciscan Medical Specialists in Munster.
While some who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes because they are obese or sedentary, there is also a group of otherwise healthy, active seniors who are also getting diagnosed.
That group suffers from just having a “tired pancreas,” which might not be processing as well as it used to, Cole said.
Dr. Thottathil Gopan, department of endocrinology section chief for Franciscan Medical Specialists in Munster, said older patients can present some unique challenges in their diabetes management.
“Most patients have other health problems, or memory problems,” he said. “A higher number of illnesses can make the diabetes harder to manage.”
He said patients with multiple diagnoses in addition to their diabetes, combined with memory problems, may become confused and forget which medications to take, and at what times.
“It’s very important to involve family members in their care,” he said. “Family can help with food and diet and an exercise plan.” Continue reading