5 Tips for Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 75 percent of Americans 65 and older have pre-diabetes or diagnosed diabetes. This means, that for most seniors and their families, enjoying the best quality of life will at some point include finding ways to prevent or manage diabetes every day. The good news is that, with a bit of effort and the right information, living well with type 2 diabetes is entirely possible. Here are some simple and effective ways to maintain your physical and mental well-being, hand in hand with type 2 diabetes.
1. Stay Positive
When Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters used to sing “Accentuate the Positive” they really were on to something. Just because type 2 diabetes is part of your life, it doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you love with the people you care about. It’s important to stay focused on the reality of your situation and the readily available means you have to keep your diabetes in check. Sure, there are some lifestyle tweaks you might need to make, and some precautions you’ll need to take, but overall, your quality of life does not need to be negatively impacted by type 2 diabetes. Keep that fact in mind, and you’ll feel a huge weight lift off your shoulders.
2. Know What You’re Dealing With
Like most situations in life, knowledge is power. The more you understand about type 2 diabetes and your unique relationship with it, the more empowered you’ll be to take control of your health—physically, mentally, and emotionally. The internet is filled with great resources like the American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). With just a few clicks, you can learn more about diabetes than you probably ever thought you’d want to know. Of course, not all internet resources are created equal, so be sure you only check out the sites of respected organizations with content that’s curated by qualified health experts.
Where else can you turn for trusted advice and guidance? You guessed it … your doctor! Feel free to ask your primary care physician or endocrinologist any questions you may have and talk through your concerns. They’ll be able to help you develop a care plan specific to your personal diabetes diagnosis and lifestyle goals, including any medications, glucose monitoring, or insulin treatments you may require.
3. Set Your Table for Success
Eating a healthy diet of nutritious food is an important part of managing type 2 diabetes. Meals that feature sensible portions of nutrient-rich foods like fresh produce, lean proteins, and whole grains go a long way toward your success. Try to limit your sugar intake and strive to include plenty of high-fiber choices and colorful fruits and vegetables throughout the day. And while altering what and how you eat can be challenging at first, don’t think of it as “going on a diet” but rather as a lifestyle change that will help you get more from everything you do. There are tons of recipes out there to keep things interesting. In no time flat, your healthy eating habits will become second nature, and because you’ll notice the positive difference in aspects of your life beyond diabetes, you won’t hardly miss the junk food (we hope). When you eat better, you feel better!
4. Keep Moving in the Right Direction
An active lifestyle with doctor-approved exercise is a fun way to regulate blood sugar and insulin sensitivity as part of a diabetes management plan. And it doesn’t take a big commitment to make big impact on your health. As little as 30 minutes a day, five times a week can help maintain a healthy weight and improve your personal wellness. We’re not talking high-intensity, extreme workouts here, either. Simply walking, swimming, practicing yoga, or light strength training will do the trick. Again, the key is finding activities that are approved by your doctor and fun enough for you to stick with for the foreseeable future so you can reap the most benefit from your efforts.
5. Ask for Help at Home
Let’s face it: we could all use a helping hand from time to time. And when it comes to managing diabetes and protecting your health, you should never hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Finding an in-home caregiver that understands your unique situation and shares your goals for achieving the quality of life you aspire to can be a game-changer. The right caregiver is one that is readily available, has the experience and empathy to understand how to assist you around the house and out in the world, and knows how to support the effective implementation of your doctor’s care plan. Beyond that, a caregiver should be someone you can count on to help you find joy in simple everyday moments, celebrate your victories (big and small), and comfort you when challenges arise along your personal diabetes journey.
Comfort Keepers® Can Help
Comfort Keepers® is ready to help seniors manage their type 2 diabetes with uplifting in-home care. From assisting with daily exercise and medication reminders to transportation to doctor’s appointments and nutritious meal prep, our friendly caregivers enable them to effectively maintain their individualized care plans while finding more joy in everyday moments so they can live life to its fullest.
To learn more about our services, contact your local Comfort Keepers location today.