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Diabetes-Related Health Conditions in Ageing Adults

According to the Australian Department of Health, more than one million Australian adults have type 2 diabetes. Approximately 20 percent of all adults over the age of 75 are affected by the disorder, and seniors with diabetes are more susceptible to developing the following related medical conditions.

Foot Issues

Diabetic seniors may develop nerve damage in the feet and legs, which is referred to as neuropathy. The condition often causes burning or stinging sensations and may weaken the extremities. Sometimes the damage causes dangerous numbing. Along with damaged nerves, vascular changes may occur that impede blood flow, which causes similar symptoms. Due to a lack of sufficient circulation and nerve impulses, the skin often dries and cracks. After bathing, feet must be thoroughly dried and a moisturiser applied. It’s not unusual for diabetic seniors to develop ulcers or open wounds on the bottom of a foot or on a great toe. The site should be treated by a healthcare provider to prevent or treat infection and promote healing.


The vascular changes that come as a result of high blood sugar may lead to plaque formation or vascular damage. Approximately 66 percent of diabetics also have high blood pressure. Older adults with blood pressure readings of 140/90 or higher require medical intervention. Hypertension leaves seniors susceptible to heart attacks and strokes. Diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes may remedy the problem. Otherwise, physicians commonly prescribe diuretic and antihypertensive medications.

If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to monitor his or her lifestyle habits closely, but a trained professional care worker can do this and much more. Every senior has different needs when ageing in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. North Coast seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.

Kidney Damage

The capillaries in the kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products via microscopic holes in the vessels. Hypertension and high blood sugar damage the vessels over time and enlarge the openings. Thus, larger molecules that include protein are flushed from the body, which causes microalbuminuria. Kidney damage, or nephropathy, may also prevent the capillaries from filtering the blood. The waste then remains in the blood. If not treated, the problem progresses to kidney failure or end-stage renal disease. Preventing kidney damage requires keeping blood sugar within normal limits and controlling blood pressure. In advanced cases, seniors may need to follow a low-protein diet.

Diabetes is a common disease among seniors, and it’s crucial to effectively manage its treatment and replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones as seniors age. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional carers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust North Coast home care service experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.


When glucose cannot enter cells to provide nourishment, the body breaks down fat stores as a replacement. Fat metabolism causes a byproduct known as ketones, which are acidic in nature. When ketones accumulate in the blood, the issue may become life-threatening. Blood sugar that is too high or too low may lead to ketoacidosis, but this condition is avoidable as long as seniors have their blood sugar under control and consume enough nutrients from a healthy diet.

Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome (HHNS)

HHNS may occur in diabetics with a combination of uncontrolled blood sugar and an infection. The kidneys initially attempt to correct the hyperglycemic event by producing more urine, which can lead to dehydration, seizures, coma, or death. Blood sugar control can prevent the occurrence.

Even seniors who have serious health challenges such as diabetes can still live in safety and comfort at home with the help of a trained professional care worker. North Coast elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home care workers. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caring for your ageing loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (02) 6646 3527 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.