Health Care Options for the Elderly Essay

Health Care Options for the Elderly Essay

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When working with the older adult population we have many health care challenges. One health concern for older adults is diabetes type 2. Diabetes can be defines as a raised glucose level and symptoms on two separate occasions. Diabetes type 2 is a metabolic disorder where a person shows some, but not complete, lack of insulin verses type 1 in which a person has a complete lack of insulin. The prevalence of diabetes among Americans has steadily increased over the years. “In 2010, 25.6 million Americans over 20 years old were estimated to be living with diabetes, with an additional 79 million estimated to have prediabetes” (Robertson, 2012, p. 225). Without proper education about the disease and how to manage it, the prevalence among our older population is likely to increase. “The epidemic of type 2 diabetes is clearly linked to increasing rates of overweight and obesity in the U.S. population, but projections by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that even if diabetes incidence rates level off, the prevalence of diabetes will double in the next 20 years, in part due to the aging of the population” (Kirkman et al., 2012, p. 2342).

Diagnosing diabetes type 2 can be difficult. There is not a single factor in determining if one has T2D but rather a number of factors. Some of the signs and symptoms older adults must be mindful of include increased thirst, increased hunger after just finishing a meal, and increased urination. They may also experience significant weight loss not attributed to diet, fatigue, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet and blurred vision. Older adults that experience any of these should report them to their physician.

Older adults with type 2 diabetes must keep their ...


... middle of paper ...


...ause depression and increase anxiety. To avoid these severe consequences older adults should be encouraged to stop smoking which will help with circulation, continue to manage their blood sugar, schedule a foot exam with their physician and perform self foot exams daily. They should also be advised to wear proper footwear to help avoid foot injuries.

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can be difficult for older adults not only physically but emotionally as well. If the older adult is properly motivated then they may see the importance of managing their symptoms through proper diet, exercise and blood sugar monitoring. They may see that being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes does not mean they are dying and that death is upon them. By being properly educated they can develop an understanding that they can prolong their life and be more active and feel healthy.

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