The ABCs of Diabetes

by Lois Etienne on March 28, 2013

in Caregiver Support,Diabetes,Lifestyle,Senior Health and Safety

StopDiabeteslogo_150Simple to learn, important to manage. These three measurements for diabetes management should be kept as close to the recommended goals as possible to help avoid complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and vision problems.

A is for the A1C test, an estimate of blood sugar levels over the past three months. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) generally recommends that people with diabetes aim for an A1C level of less than 7 percent. A1C test results help doctors make recommendations such as diet changes to help manage the diabetes. Download this Nutrition for Seniors workbook (PDF 411 KB) for practical tips and food lists to help your senior loved one eat right.

B is for blood pressure, which ideally should measure 130/80 mmHg or less, the ADA advises. According to a study published in the February 2013 issue of Diabetes Care that measured how well these ABCs were met, only half of the people with diabetes involved in the study were being treated for their blood pressure. That means half were not being treated. Be sure to talk to your loved one’s doctor about blood pressure treatments and learn how you can take a proactive approach to helping your loved one control blood pressure.

C is for cholesterol, specifically LDL (bad) cholesterol. The ADA advises LDL levels should be below 100 mg/dL. According to the study published in Diabetes Care, only half of people with diabetes are on statins to lower cholesterol-a percentage that should be much larger according to some doctors. Talk to your doctor about your loved one’s cholesterol levels and the best treatments for his or her unique situation. The FDA recently issued new safety cautions for statin use, so be sure to discuss that with a doctor as well.

The Home Instead Senior CareĀ® network has partnered with the American Diabetes Association to help diabetic seniors and their family caregivers successfully manage the disease so they can live life to its fullest. Contact a Home Instead Senior Care office near you or visit the diabetes care section on our website to learn more about what our CAREGiversSM can do to encourage and help facilitate healthy choices for your loved one with diabetes.

Get Tips to Manage Diabetes and Watch the Diabetes in Older Adults video series.
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