Diabetes Myths: Know the Facts when Caring for Your Relative

Diabetes can happen at any age, and for the elderly, it’s a disease that can especially affect their lives. The good news is there are ways to manage the disease for an elderly loved o
ne.

Type 2 diabetes is a large problem in the elderly population. Treatment of the disease for older people can present challenges, especially when the person has other age-related disabilities. Complications related to diabetes can also be more common.

If you want to care properly for an elderly relative with diabetes, you will need to be able to separate the myths from the facts. Here are a number of common myths surrounding diabetes to help you out.

People with Diabetes Cannot Be Active

This is not true. In fact, it is recommended that people of all ages with diabetes stay active and healthy, and a healthy lifestyle is especially important in old age.

People with Diabetes Cannot Eat Sugar

This is the most common myth of all. People with diabetes can eat sugar in moderation, but the important thing is that they must eat a balanced diet.

You Cannot See the Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes has a number of symptoms that you can spot if you know what to look for. These can be very subtle, and this is especially the case in elderly people. Many people with diabetes do not know they have it, so make sure you look out for the symptoms in your relative, which can include dehydration, drinking more than normal, feeling tired, feeling hungry, losing weight and making frequent trips to the bathroom.

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Type 2 Diabetes Is Not That Serious

There is a myth that type 2 diabetes is not serious, but this is not the case. Sometimes it can be very serious, and it can even be life threatening. It can be controlled, but the condition is still not something to be taken lightly.

People with Diabetes Should Not Drive

People with diabetes can drive. The danger is when hypoglycaemia occurs, and fortunately, this is preventable. If your relative is at risk, they should take special care to avoid hypos (hypoglycaemia or low blood glucose) while driving.

People with Diabetes Are More Likely to Suffer From Illnesses

This is another common myth, but people with diabetes do not get more colds or illnesses than other people. However, when they do become ill, this can make managing blood glucose levels more challenging. Illness prevention is therefore very important.

Provide Proper Care for Your Relative with Diabetes

There are many other myths related to diabetes. For example, that diabetes is contagious and that only overweight people get type 2 diabetes. Make it your aim to know the facts and to find out more about the disease, especially in elderly people, and this will help you to provide better care for your relative.

And if you do decide to hire a care worker, make sure they have experience looking after people with diabetes, like our care workers at Comfort Keepers.