How to Manage Type 1 Diabetes and Aging

Diabetes and agingMany individuals with type 1 diabetes have a particular dread of growing older, because in the past as patients have gotten older, more and more complications have arisen due to the long-term complications of the disease. However, researchers are studying those individuals who have managed to live to 70 and beyond, remaining healthy even though they have been treating their diabetes for decades. As technology continues to advance, it becomes easier to manage the condition and treatment options have become much more varied and tailored to individuals. In addition, research has shown that it is possible to mitigate or even avoid some of the most dreaded complications that can come from type one diabetes. The important factor that has been isolated so far in research is adherence to a healthy lifestyle, which includes finding a diabetic supply company that works for you and keeping up your supplies of diabetic accessories such as testing kits and diabetes log books.

Studies have demonstrated that with the proper management program, most seniors who deal with diabetes are able to prevent developing conditions such as kidney disease, diabetic retinopathy, and neuropathy. One of the participants of a long-range study on the impact of consistent care on aging diabetics said, “I have a general philosophy that diabetics should treat their condition with lifelong acknowledgement but not with restriction.” He added, “Never let it be a preoccupation in terms of what you do or how you do it.” Several of the participants managed to avoid many of the major complications—though heart disease still seems to be a factor, even when other complications were avoided. Many of the seniors who participated in the long-range study mentioned that they adhered to their treatment plans, without being overly obsessive—that the factor that made it easier to manage their condition was to make it a full lifestyle, a particular way to be, and not as a medical “problem” to solve.

Another factor that plays a pivotal role in the quality of life for aging diabetics seems to be their ability to cope with and incorporate new technologies into their lives. Because diabetes is a relatively common disease, there are constant advances in treatment options and management tools. In more recent years, many diabetic supply companies have gone online, offering a variety and range of new devices including BD ultra fine pen needles, which are easier to use than traditional vial and syringe delivery methods. Advancements have also been made in glucose testing kits, allowing for testing that is faster, easier, and less painful than traditionally. Whichever diabetic accessories you need, the industry is competitive and countless options are available to fit your lifestyle and preferences.

As diabetics age, certain things become more and more important. Not only managing the condition itself, but also rigorously checking for circulation issues, avoiding injuries to the extremities, and routine eye exams help patients to avoid many of the complications that can arise. Many individuals with type one diabetes are able to have a lasting, high quality of life as they age, by making choices to work with diabetic supply companies whose methods fit into their lifestyle, keeping active, and making their management and treatment part of an ongoing way of being, rather than a specific treatment.

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