How to Lower the Risk of Diabetes in the Golden Years

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

Seniors have a higher risk of developing diabetes due to age, lack of exercise, high stress levels, and poor eating habits. A diabetes diagnosis could have a negative impact on your loved one’s quality of life. Use the tips below to help your loved one reduce the risk of developing diabetes. 

Avoid Red and Processed Meats 

Red and processed meats contain high levels of sodium, which make them a bad food choice for older adults. Sodium leads to hypertension, an issue that increases the risk of diabetes. Red and processed meats also contain nitrites that increase insulin resistance and impair the function of pancreatic beta cells. The worst meats for seniors to eat include hot dogs, bacon, steak, and sausage. 

Changing dietary habits can be challenging for seniors. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Rhode Island Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Eat More Yogurt 

Diets high in calcium can reduce the risk of diabetes for older adults, and yogurt is a calcium-rich food. The best types of yogurt for seniors are plain, low-fat varieties. Your loved one should avoid eating Greek yogurt because it’s low in calcium compared to traditional yogurts. Yogurt makes a great meal or snack because it’s high in protein content and low in carbohydrates. 

Add Beans and Legumes to the Diet

Beans and legumes contain protein and fiber and are low in calories. Eating these foods could help your loved one gain better glycemic control and lower the risk of heart disease. Your loved one can add beans to his or her diet as a meat replacement. Beans do not have saturated fat, making the exchange healthy for aging adults. 

Family caregivers who have difficulty caring for an aging loved one with diabetes should consider hiring a professional caregiver. Rhode Island respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

Limit Sugar Consumption 

Soda, lemonade, sweetened tea, cookies, cakes, and candies are all foods aging adults should avoid eating. There are also some vegetables seniors should avoid because they contain high levels of sugar, such as corn. Sugar can lead to excessive weight gain in older adults, which puts them at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Instead of consuming sugary foods and beverages, eating more leafy greens and drinking higher amounts of water each day could help your loved one control his or her weight, leading to a better quality of life. 

Eat Brown Rice Instead of White Rice 

White rice can cause a spike in blood sugar, putting seniors at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Seniors don’t have to give up rice altogether. They should eat brown rice instead because it is a nutritious grain that is gluten-free, high in fiber, and low in calories. Replacing white rice with brown rice can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes because of the high amounts of fiber. Since brown rice is digested more slowly, it doesn’t cause a rapid change in blood sugar.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Rhode Island Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (401) 284-0979.