Diabetes Treatment Options for Older Adults

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,177
    Barbara Resnick of the American Geriatrics Society discusses treatment options for diabetic older adults.

    Barbara Resnick: Hi! I am Barbara Resnick, President in the American Geriatrics Society. Today I am going to talk with you about treatment options for type 2 diabetes. If diet and exercises alone don't control your type 2 diabetes, your healthcare professional will prescribe medication to lower your blood sugar. There are many different treatment options available. Most of them are available in pill form, although some people may require insulin replacement which can only be given as an injection. Your healthcare professional will talk with you and your family or other caregivers about which medication is right for you. Your pharmacist is also a really good source of information about any medications you are taking. If you have prescriptions from more than one healthcare provider, it's best to get them filled at one pharmacy. That way the pharmacist can be on a lookout for potential drug interactions. Be certain that each healthcare provider you see knows about the other medications you are taking. Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your healthcare provider will teach you or your caregiver how to use a glucose meter. This simple device lets you check your blood sugar level as often as your healthcare provider recommends. If you take insulin, you will also learn how to change your dose, depending on your blood sugar level. Some people with diabetes may be advised to keep a record of your blood sugar results noting the time of day that you last ate and when you took your blood sugar medication. Bring this record with you to each visit you have with your healthcare provider. Also, make sure you are managing your blood sugar correctly with diet and exercise and your medication. In many cases, any weight loss can bring a big improvement in your blood sugar level. Exercise is also helpful for losing weight and controlling your blood sugar. Any increase in your physical activity can help. Resources are available from the American Geriatric Society's Foundation for Health in Aging to help older adults living with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.

    The Foundation for Health in Aging also offers a physician referral service that's available online.