Diabetes in Seniors: Could Low Blood Sugar Have a Negative Impact?

A senior couple sitting at a dinner table eating

Learn the latest recommendations regarding diabetes in seniors.

The newest recommendations from the Endocrine Society regarding diabetes in seniors are unexpected, to say the least: lower blood sugar is not always best. And for those who’ve been maintaining a regimen of finger pricks, insulin injections, and thorough tracking of food consumed, this change of course could be rather difficult to swallow.

Referred to as de-intensification, geriatricians are now often taking the approach with seniors that the benefits to be obtained by striving for strict blood sugar control aren’t outweighing the health risks inherent with the aging process and illness. When A1c and blood sugar levels are kept at very low levels within the elderly, for instance, it could possibly result in a greater occurrence of hypoglycemia or even kidney failure.

With up to one in three seniors currently diagnosed with diabetes, these new guidelines are poised to have a staggering impact on the treatment and management of the disease for the elderly, requiring an adjustment in mindset for most.

And not surprisingly, many older diabetics are reluctant to welcome this change. In one patient’s words to Dr. Pei Chen, a geriatrician in the geriatric clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, “I’ve been doing this for 25 years. You don’t need to tell me what to do. I can handle it.”

The new guidelines recommend an increase in A1c from 7 to 7.5% for seniors who are in good health; and up to 8 – 8.5% for all those with dementia, multiple chronic illnesses, or poor health. It’s critical to note, however, that recommendations are highly individualized centered on a variety of factors, and that at no time should high blood sugar levels be disregarded in the elderly.

CareWorks Health Services can help seniors comply with physicians’ guidelines to control diabetes and a variety of other conditions with professional, customized, in-home care services for seniors. Just some of the countless ways we are able to help include:

  • Food shopping to guarantee the senior has plenty of healthy food choices easily accessible
  • Meal planning and preparation in adherence to any prescribed dietary plans
  • Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments, tests, and procedures
  • Motivation to take part in doctor-authorized work-out programs
  • Medicine reminders to make sure prescriptions are taken at the correct time and in the proper dose
  • And more!

At CareWorks Health Services, we strive to provide the best home care Newport Beach and the surrounding area has to offer. Reach out to us online or call (949) 859-4700 to ask about an in-home assessment and uncover a healthier lifestyle for someone you love.