Q: During my brother’s recent visit with his doctor, his M.D. warned him about type 2 diabetes. But George, a widower, wonders if an exercise program can really help. He pointed out to me that he’s 78 and doesn’t drive, so sometimes it’s hard to find rides to the neighborhood YMCA when the weather forces him inside. He’s also worried that he won’t have time to keep his house ship-shape and fix the recommended meals if he’s trying to exercise. There have got to be some good solutions for his predicament, right?
A: Tell George that there are proven methods in heading off type 2 diabetes. As for managing the issues of daily living, a Home Instead CAREGiverSM could help him with meal preparation, light housekeeping, transportation and medication reminders.
Reinforce to him that programs to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in high-risk adults do result in fewer people developing diabetes. Researchers said a program involving lifestyle changes, which was particularly effective for those 60 and older, reduced the rate of diabetes in high-risk adults by 58 percent.
The Diabetes Prevention Program funded by the National Institutes of Health, which appeared in a recent issue of Diabetes Care, showed that lifestyle changes – reduced fat and calories in the diet and increased physical activity that lead to modest weight loss – reduced the rate of type 2 diabetes in high-risk adults by 58 percent, compared with placebo. A medication, metformin, reduced diabetes by 31 percent. At present, metformin is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for diabetes prevention, but it is used by diabetics.
Good luck to George’s efforts to avoid type 2 diabetes. Be sure to remind him that lifestyle changes were especially beneficial for people age 60 and older. Contact your local Home Instead Senior Care® office for more information about how you can help older loved ones achieve a healthier lifestyle.