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5 Lifestyle Choices That Increase the Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent health conditions in Canada, and it can increase a senior’s risk of heart disease, depression, kidney disease, and vision problems. While type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed before the age of 20, many people aren’t diagnosed with type 2 diabetes until they are much older. Here are a few of the lifestyle choices that can increase a senior’s risk of type 2 diabetes and what can be done to change them. 

1. Physical Inactivity

Aerobic exercise is one of the most effective ways to increase blood circulation, lower glucose levels, relieve stress, and strengthen the heart. Seniors should speak with a doctor about safe exercise practices before starting a routine. Due to issues with mobility and balance, high-impact exercises are unsafe for many seniors. Low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking briskly, and the use of elliptical trainers are often safe and effective.

If your loved one needs assistance with exercise, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Toronto home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. 

2. Smoking

The use of tobacco products can have a major impact on the cardiovascular system, which is one of the reasons smokers have higher rates of diabetes. Within moments of smoking, vessels constrict and blood-sugar levels increase. Some seniors who overcome their cravings after quitting cigarettes start smoking again simply out of habit. Picking up a new hobby that helps reduce cravings can be an effective tactic for many people.

3. Unhealthy Diet

One of the biggest risk factors for type 2 diabetes is an unhealthy diet. Seniors who are having a difficult time eating healthy foods may want to start planning out their meals. If your loved one currently has prediabetes, add fresh produce and lean protein to his or her diet. Your loved one also needs to limit sugar intake, simple carbohydrates, and other substances that increase glucose levels. Seniors who enjoy eating out at restaurants must spend extra time planning what they will eat.

Encourage your loved one to limit unhealthy foods and switch to healthy home-cooked meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Toronto seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.  

4. Stress

Both mental and physical stress can raise blood glucose levels and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is why seniors must find ways to effectively control their stress levels and avoid stressful situations. Many different tactics can be used to manage stress such as keeping a journal, reading inspirational books, meditating, socializing, exercising, and spending time outdoors. Playing with a pet for just a few minutes a day can also lower stress levels by increasing the production of endorphins. 

5. Obesity

Dietary practices, a sedentary lifestyle, medications, and physical ailments can have an impact on a senior’s weight. However, even being slightly overweight can drastically increase the risk of developing diabetes. Seniors who are having a tough time losing weight should speak with a doctor about their options for physical therapy or potentially changing their medications. Some seniors need to work with multiple specialists to permanently change their lifestyle habits.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Toronto, Ontario, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. To learn about our revolutionary senior care plans, give us a call at (416) 488-8777 today.