Diabetes in the senior care community is a disease that affects 26% of all seniors in the United States. It is a disease that when handled properly, can be managed with very effective results. It is important to know a few things regarding diabetes if you are over 65 years old. Diabetes education is the bedrock principle needed to successfully manage or even avoid diabetes all together. The first thing to know about diabetes is testing.

Diabetes Testing

It is a very good idea and some doctors even require that you have an initial blood sugar screening. During this test blood is drawn to determine where you are at on the diabetes scale. The A1C Test measures your average blood sugar level over the last two to three months. It is beneficial because it gives a broader picture of your blood sugar level. If you have an A1C level of 6.5 or higher on two consecutive tests, you have diabetes. If your A1C comes back at less than 6.5, then you only need to be rescreened every three years. Another form of testing is a Blood Sugar Test. The Blood Sugar Test, also known as a Blood Glucose Test is administered to measure the amount of a certain type of sugar, called glucose, in your blood. This test can be used if the A1C test is inconclusive or if you have another condition that might make the A1C test inaccurate.

Types of Diabetes

Once you have been tested and it has been determined that you are diabetic, you will need to learn which type of diabetes you have. If you have Type 1 Diabetes, it means that your body is not creating insulin at all, which is used by your body to convert glucose in to energy to be burned by your body for energy. If this is the case, you will need to take insulin supplements every day to help your body turn sugar into energy. The most common form of diabetes is actually Type 2 Diabetes. This type of diabetes just means that your body is not effective in making and/or using insulin. This type of diabetes will require you to manage your diabetes daily by checking sugar levels and by working with diet and exercise to help with insulin production and efficiency.

Managing Diabetes

To effectively manage your diabetes will require a concerted effort on your part to both monitor your glucose levels along with proper diet and exercise. You will need to have a diet that is low in sugar, saturated fats and in calories. Look to add lean proteins to your diet as well such as chicken, turkey, and brown rice. Adding fresh vegetables is also advised. Be sure to eliminate or avoid soft drinks or other drinks loaded with sugar and replace those with water. Adding 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular work is also highly recommended. This can be simply walking around your community for 30 minutes. The key is to get the heart rate elevated, which will allow the body to look for sugars to burn off for energy.

It is best to live a lifestyle that prevents you from ever getting diabetes, but in the event you find yourself diagnosed with diabetes, just know that it is manageable. After you have been tested, educated and create a plan you can live a happy life if you follow the regimen with consistency.