Seniors with diabetes should do everything in their power to control their condition because neglecting it can quickly lead to more serious conditions. Diabetic retinopathy, a complication of the eyes that can lead to blindness, is a major example of a condition with direct links to diabetes. Grand Rapids caregivers have a few tips to help your aging loved one prevent diabetic retinopathy.
Keep Blood Sugar Under Control
As soon as your loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, he or she should immediately begin taking steps to control his or her blood sugar. Because many seniors have a difficult time exercising for 150 minutes a week, another way to control their blood sugar is through dieting. Your loved one should also speak with a doctor to see if he or she needs insulin or any other type of diabetes medication.
Regulate Blood Pressure
Diabetic retinopathy takes place when a senior’s diabetes begins to impact his or her vision and damage the vessels in the eyes. Seniors with high blood pressure have a much greater chance of developing diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, and a wide variety of other eye-related issues. Much like blood sugar levels, some of the best ways to keep blood pressure under control are by exercising, eating a healthy diet, and limiting the consumption of alcohol.
Don’t Use Tobacco Products
One of the reasons tobacco is so dangerous is because it can damage an individual’s blood vessels, which increases the risk of diabetic retinopathy. Seniors who are trying to quit tobacco products should speak with their doctors about getting help. Quitting tobacco after using it for many years can be very difficult for older adults, but medications can be used to help minimize the cravings.
Pay Attention to Vision Changes
Seniors who notice changes to their vision should immediately contact their doctors to schedule an eye exam. In some cases, the vision changes are a sign minor damage has already taken place and it is time to start making lifestyle changes. Your loved one’s eye doctor or primary healthcare provider can provide further instructions on how to prevent retinopathy, including what foods and activities he or she should be avoiding.
To learn about other complications that can result from diabetes and how to prevent them, reach out to Grand Rapids Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers can prepare healthy meals, provide transportation to medical appointments, assist with exercise, and help with a wide variety of other daily tasks. For more information on the home care Grand Rapids seniors and their families trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 616-243-0835 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.