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What Symptoms May Indicate Diabetes in Aging Adults?

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The symptoms of diabetes can mimic those of other diseases. If your senior loved one has diabetes and develops any new symptoms, he or she should see a physician as soon as possible. Here are some of the most common symptoms of diabetes in seniors and how you can reduce the risk for complications if your loved one is diagnosed with this common endocrine disorder.

Frequent Hunger

If your loved one has an increased appetite or becomes overweight, he or she may have diabetes. While diabetes can also cause weight loss in seniors, this symptom is typically seen in children who have juvenile diabetes. If your loved one’s appetite increases as a result of diabetes, make sure you offer healthy, nutrient-dense foods so he or she isn’t tempted to fill up on junk food.

Seniors with mobility issues or health challenges that make it difficult to prepare and cook nutritious meals can benefit greatly from the help of a trained professional caregiver. Wellesley elderly home 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 caregivers.

Fungal Infections

When blood sugar levels are high, fungal infections of the mouth and skin may develop. Yeasts and fungi feed off sugar and are more common in those with untreated or long-standing diabetes. If your loved one develops white patches inside the mouth or unusual skin rashes, take him or her to the doctor. The physician will examine your loved one and order diagnostic blood tests to determine if elevated glucose levels are present. If your loved one has an oral fungal infection such as candidiasis, the doctor may prescribe an antifungal mouthwash to eliminate the microorganism from the oral cavity.

Extreme Fatigue

While most seniors have episodes of tiredness or fatigue every once in a while, the fatigue caused by diabetes can be unrelenting. If your loved one is sleeping more than usual or is unable to keep up with household chores or the activities of daily living, make sure he or she gets a physical examination. While extreme fatigue can be related to stress, poor sleeping habits, a urinary tract infection, or even a cold, it may mean your loved one has diabetes.

If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to monitor his or her fatigue level closely, but a trained professional caregiver can do this and much more. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Wellesley seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Itchy Skin

Itchiness is common in older adults and is typically related to dry skin, diminished collagen production, central heating, or dehydration. While these are the most common reasons for itchy skin in elderly people, they may also indicate the presence of high blood sugar levels. If your loved one complains of itchy skin, especially if accompanied by increased thirst, extreme fatigue, weight changes, increased appetite, or vision impairment, take him or her to the doctor as soon as possible. When diabetes is diagnosed and treated in its early stages, complications are less likely to occur. If not treated in a timely manner, diabetes can lead to poor circulation, stasis ulcers on the ankles and feet, renal problems, blindness, and a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Because diabetes is a common condition among seniors, it’s crucial for family caregivers to be able to identify its symptoms so treatment can start as soon as possible. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Wellesley 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. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (781) 239-0060 today.

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