Prediabetes used to be referred to as borderline diabetes. It’s a precursor to type 2 diabetes. People who have prediabetes have elevated blood sugar but it’s not so high that they can be diagnosed with diabetes. If your aging relative has been told they have prediabetes, this is their chance to take action to prevent it from turning into type 2 diabetes. Below are some steps older adults can take to prevent prediabetes from advancing.
If your older family member is overweight, losing as little as 5 or 10 percent of their weight can lower the chances of prediabetes turning into type 2 diabetes. Avoid fad diets, though. They seldom work in the long term. Instead, focus on making lasting dietary changes and getting the older adult to exercise regularly.
Increase Physical Activity
Physical activity helps the body to use sugar to create energy, which can keep it from building up in the blood. Experts recommend 30 minutes of exercise on at least 5 days of the week. If it’s been a while since your older family member has exercised regularly, they should talk to their doctor before starting. Also, starting slowly can make it easier to build up and make exercising a habit. Seniors can add some activity into their day by doing things like exercising in short bursts during commercials in their favorite television programs. They could also park the car farther from stores and other buildings, so they walk more.
The dietary changes that can help to prevent diabetes can also help with weight loss. Begin by adding more vegetables to the older adult’s diet. Focus on vegetables that aren’t starchy, such as leafy greens, carrots, and green beans. Increasing fiber is also a good idea. Exchange higher calorie foods, such as full fat dairy products, for lower calorie ones, like skim milk and low-fat yogurt.
Use Home Care
Home care can assist older adults to reduce their risks of getting type 2 diabetes. Many older adults struggle to eat healthy meals because they cannot cook for themselves. As a result, they may eat processed foods or fast foods. Home care providers can cook healthy meals that contain lots of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins and dairy. Home care providers can also help older adults to be more physically active, too. A home care provider can encourage the older adult to move more at home by involving them in household tasks and activities that require them to move. Home care providers can also go for walks with them or drive them to an exercise class or facility.