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Today is World Diabetes Day and this year’s theme is “Eyes on Diabetes”. That’s because all eyes need to be focused on creating awareness of the importance of screening and early diagnosis of the disease. Left undiagnosed and unchecked, diabetes can rob individuals of their health, their sight, and their longevity. In 2015, 415 million adults were living with diabetes, and that number is expected to increase to around 642 million by 2040. The statistics listed by the International Diabetes Federation, highlight the importance of improving early detection:
  • One in two people with diabetes remain undiagnosed, which makes them particularly susceptible to the complications of the disease.
  • Of the 415 million adults worldwide living with diabetes in 2015, over one third will develop some form of diabetic retinopathy – a complication of diabetes that can lead to vision impairment and blindness.
Screening for Type 2 Diabetes is essential to reducing complications and managing all types of the disease. If screening and early diagnosis improve, so will the health and well-being of our population.
  • Annually, 5 million deaths are due to diabetes.
  • Early detection and timely treatment of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy can prevent vision loss.
  • More than 93 million adults, or one in three, currently living with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy.
There are two types of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2 and each is very different. Type 1 Diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, previously known as juvenile diabetes. In this type of diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that the body needs to get glucose into the cells of the body. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of the disease and occurs when the body causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. In this case, the body does not use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance. According to the American Diabetes Association, some of the most common symptoms of diabetes include:
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss - even though you are eating more (Type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (Type 2)
If you or an elderly loved one consistently have some of these symptoms, you should ask your doctor to test you for diabetes. At Home Care Assistance, we are particularly concerned with the impact of diabetes on the elderly. When managed well, seniors can live a full and healthy life with diabetes, but left undiagnosed or unmanaged, the disease can exact a devastating toll. When cognition and memory decline and dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease enter the picture, management of diabetes can become very tricky. Eating well and getting a bit of exercise are essential to controlling the disease and trained in-home caregivers can make sure this takes place. Our daily home care services like grocery shopping and meal preparation will help your loved one comply with diabetes guidelines. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method plays an important role in senior’s lives, and is especially helpful in diabetes management. It is a revolutionary approach to senior care and wellness based on scientific studies of the long-living elders in the islands of Okinawa, Japan. They live longer, healthier lives than any other group of people on earth - many of them live to be older than 100 years of age. Scientists have been studying these elders to see if we could learn how to live longer, more productive lives. Using this science, Home Care Assistance developed the Balanced Care Method and train all of our caregivers to implement it with each senior. As a result, we help seniors live longer, healthier lives based on healthy diet, physical activity, sharp minds, social ties, calmness and purpose. We will make sure that your loved one eats well and stays well, even with diabetes.
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