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5 Ways Seniors Can Reduce Their Diabetes Risk

According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. Diabetes can make it difficult for seniors to maintain a high quality of life.

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Harrisburg, PA, home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Luckily, there are ways for seniors to prevent diabetes. From eating healthier to exercising more often, here are 5 of the best ways for seniors to stave off diabetes. 

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

If seniors are overweight according to the Body Mass Index, they are at a higher risk for developing type-2 diabetes. It also puts them in danger of developing other health conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. While losing weight can be hard, it is one of the best ways for seniors to prevent diabetes. In fact, with every 2.2 pounds lost, the risk of developing diabetes lowers by 16 percent. 

2. Make Healthy Food Choices

For overweight seniors, losing weight requires changes to their daily routines. To boost their overall health, adopting healthy dietary habits is essential. Seniors who are concerned about diabetes should avoid foods high in sodium, fat, and sugar. They should switch to a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Whole grains are also recommended for people at risk for diabetes. 

If seniors have a difficult time adjusting to their new meal plan, help them shop smart. It’s easier to follow a new diet if you stock the kitchen cabinets with healthy foods and plan the weekly meals ahead of time. 

3. Exercise

When it’s time for seniors to reduce their diabetes risk, they need to start exercising. Physical activity has a number of health benefits, from normalizing blood glucose levels to enhancing cardiovascular function. Most importantly, exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Seniors who are still mobile should try to incorporate aerobic exercise and strength training into their fitness regimen. Aerobic exercises can vary in intensity, ranging from a quick walk around the block to aerobics classes at the local gym. These exercises raise the heart rate, which can increase blood circulation and lower cholesterol levels. For strength training, seniors can use light weights at home or perform more strenuous exercises at the gym. By performing a weekly strength routine, seniors can enhance their muscle and bone health. 

Seniors with limited mobility also have exercise options. Chair exercises enable seniors to work on their upper and lower body without having to stand up. Some seniors with limited mobility are also able to do water aerobics. 

Aging adults may require assistance with exercise as well as with their daily activities. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need respite from your caregiving duties, the Harrisburg hourly care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our hourly care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

4. Stop Smoking

According to the CDC, people who smoke are 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop diabetes than people who don’t smoke. Quitting can be very hard for seniors who smoke, as they may have been smoking for decades. To prevent diabetes, quitting cigarettes is necessary. Seniors trying to quit often turn to nicotine patches, support groups, and friends and family. 

5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is crucial to living a healthy life, and chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to type 2 diabetes. To promote overall wellbeing, seniors should try to get eight hours of sleep a night. If they have insomnia or another sleep disorder, they should speak to their doctor about their difficulties. 

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Harrisburg, PA, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. To learn about our customized senior care plans, call us today at (717) 540-4663.