Senior Living Communities Offer Healthy Lifestyles for Residents with Diabetes

A health care worker checks in on an elderly woman

Residents at Rolling Green Village, a Life Plan Community in Greenville, SC., also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), are rarely looking to slow down. They’re vibrant people with rich lives and varied interests, and with the right community support, they can manage complex challenges like living with diabetes. Diabetes in elderly people presents unique complications, so a community-wide team specially trained to help seniors live well can be an invaluable resource. In addition to the team members, the campus and amenities are designed to offer the highest quality of life for all seniors, including those living with diabetes.

Diabetes Risk for Seniors

The American Diabetes Association reports that over 14 million seniors currently have diabetes, the highest prevalence of the disease of any age group. And new cases are diagnosed every day. Diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t make or use insulin well, leaving high levels of glucose in the blood, which can create additional health concerns over time.

There are two different types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is almost exclusively diagnosed in children and young adults, and seniors with Type 1 diabetes would have dealt with treatment since their diagnosis. Type 2 diabetes can develop at any point in a person’s life, usually brought on by predisposition or lifestyle.

Potential Complications

Diabetes cannot be cured yet, but it can be treated successfully. A person may have managed their blood sugar for years, but is now finding that controlling it is more difficult in their senior years as their health needs become more complex. Diabetes can lead to greater risk of heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, eye problems and even stroke, which is why people with diabetes may look for greater support later in life.

How Senior Living Can Help

1. Lifestyle:

One of the best ways to manage diabetes is through exercise. When you work out, your body uses excess glucose for energy. Exercise also helps your system use insulin more efficiently. At a senior living community, people with diabetes can enjoy a wide variety of fitness classes, specialized equipment and helpful guidance from instructors. Additionally, weather can’t keep you from your workout in a community. An indoor pool and community fitness center are available rain or shine.

Another cornerstone of controlling blood sugar is eating a healthy diet. It is sometimes difficult to get proper nutrients through food when you live with diabetes, and a thoughtful dining team with experience serving seniors can be a great help. Seniors with diabetes should focus on eating healthy carbohydrates, plenty of fiber, fish and good fats. They should carefully monitor cholesterol, sodium and bad fats. At Rolling Green Village, our chef collaborates with a certified dietitian to ensure that your meals are not only flavorful, but also nutritious.

2. Senior Health Care Support:

Our community team members work together to help residents stay as independent as possible for as long as possible. But if a resident is struggling with diabetes or complications from the disease and requires a higher level of care, we offer resident-centered skilled nursing care in our 5-Star health center. Licensed nurses and a medical director are available to monitor and care for residents at all hours. In addition to specialized health care, residents in skilled nursing still have access to enriching community amenities, like the fitness center, the pool, chef-prepared dining, social events and more. When you’re in a community, team members don’t just treat your symptoms; they treat the whole person.

If you’d like to learn more about senior health care at Rolling Green Village or our holistic approach to treating diabetes in elderly residents, please contact us. We would be very happy to answer any questions you have.