When Diabetes and Dementia Overlap
New studies are showing that the earlier people develop diabetes, the greater their risk is for developing dementia. A study from Kaiser Permanente Northern California discovered that people with type 1 diabetics were 93% more likely to develop dementia. Another study, from a medical cohort from the United Kingdom, recently reviewed the association between age at onset of type 2 diabetes and subsequent risk of dementia. The results showed a clear link. The data spanning 35 to 75 years for age of diabetes onset showed every 5-year earlier onset of diabetes was significantly associated with higher hazard of dementia. However, late-onset diabetes was not significantly associated with subsequent dementia.
What does this mean for in-home care services, senior care, and dementia care? A focus on preventing diabetes and addressing the causes of diabetes would be a valuable component of a dementia care plan. By taking a multi-disciplinary approach, and addressing the individual holistically, in-home caregivers can help clients manage symptoms of diabetes and symptoms of dementia at the same time.
Lifestyle Changes for Diabetes and Dementia Care
In-home caregivers can help their clients manage symptoms by assisting with healthy lifestyle changes. A focus on achieving better cardiovascular health will help reduce the risk both for diabetes and dementia. These lifestyle changes include:
Managing blood pressure
Maintaining balanced blood sugar levels
Increasing physical activity, such as moderate exercise
Eating healthy, whole foods and eliminating processed foods
Maintaining a healthy weight
Quitting harmful habits such as smoking
Getting consistent quality sleep
In-home caregivers can help their clients set goals for these changes, facilitate ways to keep their clients on track, and offer encouragement as often as needed. Cooking healthy meals, testing blood sugar levels, participating in exercises such as walking, and coming up with creative ideas for healthy lifestyle activities are all ways in which in-home caregivers can assist.
The Benefits of In-Home Caregivers
An in-home caregiver is an advocate of the health and well-being of their clients. If a person has diabetes, or is at risk for diabetes, in-home caregivers can help monitor symptoms and warning signs. This is true for both diabetes and dementia, as well as other diseases and illnesses that are common in seniors, such as Parkinson’s Disease and osteoporosis. Warning signs of diabetes include:
Wound skin changes
Frequently shaky, dizzy, nauseous, sweaty, and/or confused
Low energy and lethargy
Frequently needs to urinate
Is often angry or irritable
By monitoring the warning signs of diabetes, in-home caregivers can also help reduce the risk of dementia for their clients. The sooner diabetes is treated or prevented, the more a high risk for dementia is prevented.
Quality In-Home Care Services
In-home caregivers can provide assistance for people who have diabetes, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, osteoporosis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and more. The caregivers at Alegre Home Care, the top provider of home care in San Rafael, CA, create personalized care plans that address the unique needs of each individual. In-home caregivers also assist with housekeeping, socialization, running errands, cooking meals, and other general tasks. All in-home caregivers are highly screened and receive ongoing training in order to provide the best in-home care services in Northern California.
If you or a loved one is in need of senior care, dementia care, injury recovery, or general in-home care services, please contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION at one of our office locations.