Self management of diabetes and glucose levels can be challenging sometimes. If you are frail, or if you take other medicines or have other health problems, you may be at greater risk of hypoglycemia.
It is recommended that your doctor reviews your targets on a regular basis.
They can help set blood glucose targets that will keep you safe.
The target blood glucose levels for people over 65 who are living independently is generally between 4 and 10 mmol/L. This range may increase to between 6 to 15 mmol/L if you take medication for your diabetes, become frail, have other health problems, or are at risk of falls.
Ask your doctor what targets you should be aiming for. Blood glucose meters and other devices used to help manage your diabetes need regular review, testing, and upgrading. Your diabetes educator or pharmacist may be able to help you with this.
Healthy Tip – 1
Once you turn 65, ask your doctor to review your blood glucose targets regularly.
It is not uncommon for people with diabetes to have a high blood glucose level. Generally, a blood glucose level over 15mmol/L is considered hyperglycemia and should prompt you to think about why it could be high.
A high blood glucose level now and then is not a problem. However, if you get symptoms of hyperglycemia or your blood glucose levels to remain high for a few days, it is really important to contact your doctor.
There are several causes of hyperglycemia in people:
• too little insulin or diabetes medicine
• food intake not being covered adequately by insulin or medication
• decrease inactivity
• illness, infection or injury
• severe physical or emotional stress
• taking certain medications, in-particular oral steroids or steroid injections
• insulin pump not working properly.
If you have a blood glucose level over 15mmof/L and you are not sure what to do, or if you are becoming unwell, contact your doctor.
Healthy Tip – 2
As you get older you may find your hyperglycemia warning signs change. When you were younger, early warning symptoms of hyperglycemia may have included increased thirst, passing lots of urine, nausea, blurred vision, or dry mouth. As you get older your warning signs may become less obvious feel tired or confused or you may feel nothing at all. If you think that it might affect you, it is strongly recommended you discuss it with your doctor or diabetes educator.
When you are unwell, you need to take extra care. Your diabetes may become harder to manage when you are sick.
It can be really helpful to talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about what to do if you become sick before it happens. How you manage will depend on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Your doctor or diabetes educator can help you write a plan for what to do if you become unwell. Make sure you give a copy of the plan to your family and friends, so they also know what to do.
Healthy Tip 3
If you talk to your doctor or diabetes educator now about a sick day plan, you will be prepared.
Keep your plan handy and make sure you give a copy to your family and friends.
Managing Your Physical Activity As You Get Older
The aging process, the complications of diabetes, and other health issues can result in physical limitations that have an impact on our lives. You may experience vision problems, hearing loss, have less physical energy and flexibility or be in pain.
It is important to:
- have your feet checked every six months
- have your hearing tested every year”
- have your eyes tested every two’
- (or more often if advised), and
Let your doctor know if you have pain or feel sore or are uncomfortable in any part of your body.
Sometimes people think they are too old or frail to exercise but any increase in activity can make a difference to your health and well-being.
It is recommended that people over 65 years do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most preferable days.
If you are already this active, keep going!
If you have not been this active or you have not exercised for a while, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start.
Begin slowly and build up: for example, if you are aiming for 30 minutes of walking per day, start with 10 minutes once or twice a day. After two weeks, make it 15 minutes twice a day and you will have reached your goal of 30 minutes a day.
There are many ways you can keep active such as walking, gentle swimming, working in the garden, washing the car, dancing, or Tai Chi. Being physically active in the company of other people can be very enjoyable, and can help you to keep motivated and committed.
Try walking with a family member, friend, or neighbor, or see what senior classes your local council offers.
It is important to do a range of activities that include fitness, strength, flexibility and balance.
If you are not sure how these ”types of activities” or you are not sure what activity or how many days is preferable then it’s best you talk to your doctor or an exercise physiologist. They can help tailor a program just for you.
Managing Your Emotions
Significant life changes can put them at risk of anxiety and depression.
The future and bereavement can contribute to feelings of helplessness and depression.
Living with diabetes can also be tiring and worrying about you and your family .
Diabetes means you look after yourself every single day, with no breaks.
This constant pressure can take its toll and you may feel anxious or depressed.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression in older people are sometimes is not recognised because this can be seen as part of ‘growing old’.
It is important for you to talk to your doctor or other health professions about getting the right advice and support.
Seek help if you:
- feel sad, feel tired, sleep a lot or have daytime sleepiness
- have trouble falling or staying asleep
- have unexplained or aggravated aches and pains
- are reluctant to be with friends, participate in activities or leave your home
- lose weight or your appetite
- Jack motivation or energy
- have slowed movement or speech
- neglect your personal care (such as skipping meals, forgetting your medicine or neglecting personal hygiene)
- are frequently worried or have concerns about a number of things in your life including your health
- have feelings of worthlessness or self-loathing
- fixated on death or have thoughts of harming yourself or suicide.
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iHealth ALIGN Blood Glucose Monitor works exclusively with iHealth test strips and works with the app to track expiration and quantity, so you never run out.
iHealth Blood Glucose Test Strips are sold separately.
About the size of a quarter, this portable glucometer fits easily into your pocket and attaches directly to your smartphone or tablet for fast, accurate readings whenever, wherever.
Portable glucometer works with the free Gluco-Smart app for iOS and Android devices to help you manage your diabetes. Align lets you measure and record blood sugar readings, share measurements with your doctor right from your smartphone or tablet.
Take control of your diabetes with the AlIGN.
Document medication, exercise, and diet, and track trends over time for a more complete picture of your health.