Diabetes among senior individuals

Diabetes is a disease which has affected a lot of elderly population not only in the United
States but the whole world. Despite a reduction in the number of new cases of people affected by
the disease, the number remains high. The elderly are most likely to be affected by Type 2
diabetes. New York State reports the highest number of people with diabetes, approximately
10.0%. The number of diabetic individuals has increased by approximately 6.3% between the
year 2000 and 2014. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 25% of
people above 65 years are diabetic. A healthy lifestyle among the seniors is essential to living a
longer life if one is suffering from diabetes (Department of Health, 2017).
People who have diabetes have low glucose levels in their blood. This is a severe
condition and can lead to diabetic shock, stroke or myocardial infarction. One in every five
people that is 65 years and above is estimated to be diabetic. 25 percent of the elderly have
bodies that are faced with insulin resistance which is usually caused by sedentary, unhealthy
lifestyle and aging which causes a decline in insulin production by the body. Type -2 diabetes
common among senior individuals is usually influenced by less physical activity and factors
which can either be environmental or genetic. Being overweight is also contributing factor
together with an unhealthy diet. In these cases, the body fails to use insulin well, and as a result,
the level of glucose is elevated chronically. Type-2 diabetes can cause other diseases such as
blindness, damage to the nerves, problems in the circulatory system, heart diseases, stroke and
kidney problems (Department of Health, 2017).
Diabetic people face the problem of financial constraints in order to meet their
medication needs. The annual medication expenditure is about $15000 which most senior
individuals are unable to meet. Fortunately, most senior individuals can get financial assistance
to meet their health care needs. This financial assistance includes insurance cover, free drug
supplies, subsidized costs of medication and assistance on payment of insurance co-payment
together with premiums to be paid monthly. Medicare benefits assist diabetic individuals in
getting medication. The program covers diabetic medication of senior individuals and the supply
of drugs. Medicaid is an insurance program which provides health insurance to individuals who
are low-income earners. The program covers most of the diabetic medications and the supply of
drugs. However, in this program, individuals have minimum flexibility on the type of medicine
they need, the supply and equipment monitoring. Diabetes Care Programs are managed by
manufacturers of diabetic drugs and aids in helping patients with no insurance coverage.
Assistance is given on test strips, kits to monitor glucose levels, equipment for pumping insulin,
devices for lancing as well as drug supplies. These programs are available in websites for
registration and in hospitals where patients can get information on medication assistance (Paying
for Senior Care, 2017).
Several gaps exist in the provision of medication to diabetic individuals. Self- care for
newer treatments is more complex to the senior individuals. As a result, patients frustrated and
feel neglected by those who are to take care of them. Self -care is more complicated to those
suffering from heart diseases and depression. Also, people who have poor vision find it difficult
to measure the correct insulin amount, and some even forget to take medication due to poor
memory. More problems exist to those who have multiple disorders and are forced to contend
with additional diets that they might have been restricted from taking together with medications.
The situation is further complicated by poverty levels since most senior individuals are not
working, literacy and failure to have health insurance (News Medical Life Science, 2018).
These gaps are as a result of barriers which limit Optimal Patient Care. A patient who has
been diagnosed with diabetes does not get diabetic self- care education automatically and thus,
they have little knowledge of how to properly take medication. There has been a problem with
the health care system navigation to help patients work out their medication. Patients are only
given limited time to visit the health care providers, and their education is usually undervalued
by the payors and the health care system. Most patients have low literacy on diabetes health
education since the education is complex and requires a lot of effort for the elderly to understand
(News Medical Life Sciences, 2018).
Surveillance data of very high quality is necessary to bridge these gaps. This is necessary
for senior individuals to identify and state the gaps that they need for their medication to
improve. Systematic and a database that has been validated is essential to identify prevalence
rates of diabetes, complications which are associated with it and mortality rates. Implementation
of this system is necessary to gain information on how to improve health policies and the health
care quality of diabetic individuals (Moinnedin et al., 2012).
Provision of proper primary health care involves both physician and hospital support
within less than 100 km from senior people’s residents and presence of ambulatory care services.
This also requires regular screening of patients so that complications which may emerge as an
opportunistic disease to diabetes can be detected at an early stage and proper medication taken
into account to safeguard the lives of senior diabetic individuals. Diabetic patients require proper
education to be given to diabetic individuals in order for them to learn how to live a healthy
lifestyle by eating proper diets, avoiding smoking and alcohol as well as losing weight. Physical
exercises are as well essential in ensuring a healthy lifestyle and preventing complications.
Diabetic patients require constant care which might involve being assigned to people who will be
responsible for giving them medication and ensuring the right amount of insulin is taken. This
enables proper implementation of self-care health care system to senior individuals who might it
difficult to do this on their own (Stewart & Braden, 2017).
Barriers to bridging these gaps have led low-quality healthcare to diabetic individuals.
Some healthcare facilities are inaccessible to the senior individuals. This is because of healthcare
facilities isolation geographically and the community. These restrictions have led to a non-
existent and a limited primary and preventive healthcare to the senior diabetic individuals. This
has been worsened by poor coordination which exists between the hospitals that have been
funded provincially, specialty health care as well as the federal nursing care. Surveillance which
is limited and non-existent together with low staff turnover in healthcare facilities has resulted in
minimal attention being given to diabetic patients in healthcare facilities (Stewart & Braden,
Failure to bridge gaps which put the health of senior individuals who are diabetic puts the
lives of patients in danger. Diabetic patients have the risk of suffering from complications which
are diabetes-related which include damage to the blood vessels of the patient both large and
small. These complications have the effect of causing heart problems, stroke, kidney problems,
eye-sight damage and nerves and feet complications.
Department of Health (2017). Diabetes and Diabetes Prevention. New York State. Retrieved from
Moineddin, R., Glazier, R., Creatore, M., Manuel, D.,& Booth, G. (2012). Diabetes Screening Among
Immigrants: A population-based urban cohort study. American Diabetes Association.
News Medical Life Sciences (2018). Gaps in diabetes care identified. Retrieved from
Paying for Senior Care (2017). Financial Assistance for Seniors with Diabetes. Retrieved from
Stewart, B.H.,& Braden, T. (2017). Call to action: A new path for improving diabetes care for
indigenous people, a global review. ScienceDirect, vol 123, pages 120-133

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