The holidays are upon us, and you are likely visiting loved ones this season. Some senior parents may have diabetes, and if that's the case, it's important to keep an eye out for symptoms that could indicate they are struggling. Below are some surprising signs of diabetes to know about:
1. Extreme Thirst
If seniors cannot seem to quench their thirst sufficiently, it's essential to remember that this could be a sign of diabetes. You might want to bring some extra water bottles along with you if you plan to travel with your senior loved ones this holiday season.
2. Frequent Urination
Your elderly loved one might be taking a surprising amount of bathroom breaks during the family dinner—you'll want to be aware that this could be a symptom.
3. Cuts or Sores That Heal Slowly
One of the surprising signs of diabetes is wounds that take a long time to heal. If seniors have cuts or sores that seem to be taking an unusually long time to heal, that could be another sign.
4. Pain, Numbness, or Tingling in the Limbs
High blood sugar damages your nerves, which sometimes stop sending signals to the rest of your body as a result. In fact, 50% of all people with diabetes suffer from this condition. Diabetic neuropathy most frequently occurs in the legs and feet. It can also result in pain along with numbness in the limbs.
5. Blurry Vision
If you see your loved one looking disoriented and perhaps even a bit lightheaded, that's likely a sign of diabetes—it's important to look after them in this scenario.
6. Sweet-Smelling Breath
Sweet-smelling breath could be a sign that a senior should get a check-up sooner than later. Usually, the scent will resemble fruit. This happens because a person's body cannot get enough energy from glucose so it burns fat instead. That process also creates a buildup of acids in their blood—known as ketones—which can lead to diabetes if it is left untreated.
7. Volatile Moods
To be fair, the holidays can send a lot of people into a spiral of stress. That being said, seniors with diabetes might struggle to maintain a positive mood due to their blood sugar levels fluctuating so severely: Unstable blood sugar can lead to extreme irritability and high blood sugar mimics the signs of depression.
While the holidays are meant to be enjoyed, there are also quite a few cases of people getting sick or stressed out: This is a festive time of year, but also one that requires an enormous amount of planning for many, not to mention a long list of expenses.
Whatever the case may be, it's important to keep an eye on your senior loved ones this holiday season.
If you are attending a festive potluck, you might want to consider alternative dishes that will not have a negative impact on someone with diabetes:
- A sugar-free pumpkin pie
- Edamame hummus
- Flavored water as an alternative to soda
- Spinach and goat cheese tartlets
- Green salad with buttermilk dressing
- Butternut squash soup
- Orange baked ham
- Healthified broccoli cheddar soup
- Dry-rubbed London broil
In fact, there is a myriad of delicious options at your fingertips!
Be Mindful Around Your Elderly Loved Ones Who Have Diabetes
It's essential to be mindful of all of these symptoms if your elderly loved ones have diabetes.
At Senior Helpers Hillsborough County, we believe in assisting the elderly with daily activities so that we can help them maintain a routine. We also offer many services to seniors at our Florida-based offices, including care for individuals with Alzheimer's, Dementia, and Parkinson's. You can find us in Riverview, the Sun City Center, Brandon, Tampa, Valrico, and Lithia.
Contact us today for more information.