One of the most frequently diagnosed diseases among elderly Americans is diabetes. More than 25 percent of seniors are living with diabetes. Most cases diagnosed in adulthood are type 2 diabetes, a condition which makes it difficult our bodies to convert glucose into energy. Type 2 diabetes is associated with health issues including eye and kidney damage, as well as an increased risk factor for strokes and heart disease. Additionally, diabetes can cause nerve disorders called neuropathies which can lead to the loss of feet and legs.
Fortunately, seniors can manage their diabetes with proper medical care and education. Learning to how to live with diabetes and manage your symptoms can seem overwhelming, but there are many resources available in your community to help you learn, treat, and prevent complications. Lifestyle adjustments, weight loss, and blood glucose monitoring and management are effective techniques for caring for type 2 diabetes; professionals in your area can help you understand how to manage the condition.
Fortunately, there is a licensed San Diego County home care organization that offers an excellent selection of professional in-home caregivers who can help you understand medications, make healthy diet decisions to control blood sugar levels, and integrate gentle exercise into your daily routine.
Below, we have provided five of the best programs available for seniors in San Diego County.
Taking Control of Your Diabetes
This national organization offers conferences across the country for people living with diabetes, pre-diabetics, and those who provide care to diabetes patients. TCOYD’s Founder and Director, Dr. Steve Edelman, has made it his life’s work to inform and educate people about living with and managing diabetes while showing them how to live full and happy lives by taking an active role in managing their condition. TCOYD also provides resources and education to medical professionals and those who care for people with diabetes. For more information about the organization or to register for an upcoming local area conference, call (800) 998-2693.
The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program
If you or your senior relative are prediabetic or at risk of developing the disease, your local YMCA offers a comprehensive Diabetes Prevention Program. Their team of health and wellness experts will help you or your senior family member better understand symptoms and risk factors, learn how to prevent the disease by changing their diet and lifestyle, and incorporate physical activity into their routines. This 12-month program includes a four-month membership at The Y, which offers access to any Los Angeles metropolitan area YMCA facility. Though the program is not free, it is covered by most insurance plans and scholarships are available if your insurance provider will not cover the cost.
Your local YMCA also offers many fitness classes which are appropriate for seniors. The Active Older Adult program is designed for seniors 50 and up, and helps older bodies stay fit, healthy, and active. It is the best way to make new friends and build community, as there is a profoundly social atmosphere in all class sessions. Aqua Fit Aerobics is a gentle, effective pool-based exercise program that can help seniors manage their weight. This course is offered at any location with a pool and has several time slots available each week.
For more information about fitness, nutrition and lifestyle programs designed for older adults and seniors living with diabetes, please contact the local YMCA.
Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute
The Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute provides diabetes patients with support groups, health planning, and nutritional support. Their customized approach provides education tailored to the needs of the individual and training on insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring. Whether you or your senior relative need access to community programs, clinical trials, or multilingual education, the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute has dedicated and caring professionals to guide you or your loved one through every step of the process.
Diabetes and Endocrine Associates
Staffed by a team of professionals devoted to caring for patients with endocrine conditions and diabetes, Diabetes and Endocrine Associates offers services to patients during every step of the disease, from diagnosis to management. Services include screening and education, as well as access to clinical trials. If you or your loved one are diabetic or pre-diabetic, their staff makes every effort to make diabetes easy to understand and manage.
San Diego County AIS Health Promotion
The County of San Diego offers many programs for seniors living with diabetes. Their six-week Diabetes Self-Management Program is led by peer-educators who are also living with diabetes. This course covers all aspects of the disease, from diet and exercise to emotional health.
Modified Tai Chi is also available, allowing seniors to practice mindful, gentle exercise while reducing the risk of falls. This twice-per-week class helps diabetic seniors add exercise into their routine to help with healthy weight management and a reduction of type 2 diabetes symptoms.
Additionally, seniors can take advantage of the Feeling Fit Club, a fitness program for older adults offered throughout the county, as well as through television programs and DVD designed for home use. Exercises are easy to modify to meet your physical needs and can be performed both standing and seated.
Finally, the county’s Diabetes Empowerment Education Program allows seniors and their family members to control and manage their disease while reducing complications and the occurrence of related conditions. This interactive workshop meets once per week and focuses on making permanent lifestyle and dietary changes.
A diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes does not have to be frightening. Caring professionals and a wealth of resources available to seniors in San Diego County make diabetes easy to manage. If you or a senior relative have been recently diagnosed, learn more about the disease to prevent complication and associated conditions. There are many programs available in your area that can help you understand medications, control blood sugar levels, and integrate gentle exercise and weight loss techniques into your daily routine. Seniors with diabetes can live full and happy lives with a little bit of effort, adjustment and education.