4 Common Diabetes Risk Factors Older Adults Face

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In 2014, there were 967,048 documented cases of diabetes in Canadians over age 65. Though some causes of diabetes are less preventable, many of these seniors could have actually staved off their condition if they were aware of the common risk factors. Caledon, ON, live-in care professionals discuss a few of these risks.

1. Genetics

If your loved one’s family has a history of diabetes, he or she is more likely to develop the disease. Also, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, individuals of Aboriginal, African, Asian, Hispanic, and South Asian descent are statistically more likely to develop diabetes. It is unclear how much of this statistical gap is due to social and lifestyle factors and how much is due to genetic predisposition.

2. Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, elevated triglycerides, and a larger waist. These factors lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends seniors make lifestyle changes, lose weight, and engage in physical activity to end this syndrome.

3. Obesity

Being overweight, especially being obese, impairs the body’s use of insulin and puts increased strain on the pancreas. Too much fat in the diet and a sedentary lifestyle are lifelong contributors to diabetes. A lifetime of unhealthy eating wears down the body’s ability to process sugar, and physical exercise and activity often becomes more challenging as the body ages. The 2009-2010 data from the Canadian Community Health Survey showed obesity steadily increased with age, with the 60 to 69 age group reporting the highest rates of obesity.

4. Poverty

Diet and lifestyle are crucial factors in determining a person’s risk for developing diabetes. The Public Health Agency of Canada released an analysis of statistical data by income level, and individuals in the lowest income level were more likely to be obese, eat fewer fruits and vegetables, be physically inactive, and smoke, all of which are major risk factors for diabetes.

Help your senior loved one reduce his or her risk of diabetes by hiring a professional in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers can assist with physical activity, prepare nutritious meals, and encourage lifestyle changes that can help boost your loved one’s health. To learn more about the elderly care Caledon families trust, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 905-951-8885 to request a complimentary in-home consultation.