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Diabetes is an epidemic for the elderly in America. Over 25% of American seniors are living with diabetes, some undiagnosed. It’s crucial to maintain your health and watch your sugar intake. Although diagnosis is something for the professionals, knowing what the signs are and monitoring your body for them can help you seek the support you need, should you be the one in four American seniors affected by the disease.
As we age, changes in continence are common. The bladder no longer deflates as easily and won’t empty entirely making pressure feel more frequent. However, there’s a difference between age-related incontinence and the frequent urination that accompanies a diagnosis of diabetes. Instead of simple weakness of the muscle, diabetic nerve damage causes the bladder to no longer sense when it’s full and interferes with a person’s ability to feel both pressure and pain. The result is a tendency to retain large amounts of urine in the bladder. The symptoms of a diabetic bladder include frequent urination, incontinence, difficulty starting a urinary stream, urinary tract infections, and sensations of needing to urinate urgently. Essentially, this is age-related weakness of the bladder to an extreme. Diabetic bladder manifests over a much shorter amount of time however, so watch for any sudden changes in urination habits
Dry Mouth & Increased Thirst
Also known as polydipsia, this symptom of diabetes is typically one of the earliest to manifest. Diabetic polydipsia, or chronic thirst and dry mouth, is caused by the rise in your blood-glucose levels. This extra sugar in your blood means you feel incredibly thirsty no matter how much water you drink. Monitoring this symptom can be tricky because there is also the risk of Hypotremia as a result of drinking too much water to lessen your symptoms. Essentially water poisoning, Hypotremia is when the sodium levels in your body reach a dangerous low due to dilution. Talk to your doctor about how to manage your fluid intake because finding the balance can be difficult.
Needing more sleep when you age is pretty normal, but sudden onset of dizziness or weakness that happens for large swaths of time, is not. Other common symptoms attached to diabetic fatigue are blurry vision, the inability to concentrate and problems remembering things, and lastly, slowed reflexes. Keeping notes on any symptoms that follow sudden bouts of tiredness is important for the management of your health, so consider carrying a little notebook with you or tracking effects in your cell phone’s notes application. The unfortunate fact is that 85% of diabetics feel this type of fatigue so there’s a high likelihood that your abnormal fatigue is related to diabetes. Consider talking to your doctor should you feel any of these symptoms.
A diabetes diagnosis usually means an entire lifestyle overhaul, at least in terms of diet and exercise habits. But when the illness is caught early and managed effectively, diabetes management becomes habitual and has little to no effect on a senior’s retirement. However, the cost of insulin, low sugar and low-calorie foods, and medical visits can be high. If you have a life insurance policy you no longer need, did you know you can sell all or a portion of that policy for more than the cash surrender value? This is called a life settlement, or viatical. Contact Life Settlement Advisors today to learn more about the life settlement process or see if you pre-qualify.
Life Settlement Advisors
CASE STUDY: Virginia had lost Raymond to cancer 10 years ago and has been living alone ever since. Her children felt an assisted living facility was now in order as their mom’s Alzheimer’s disease had progressed over the past year and she could no longer live alone. Janet, Virginia’s oldest daughter, knew her mom’s resources were limited so she sold an old life insurance policy and received $85,000 to help pay for the assisted living facility.
Download our resource, How to Plan for Healthcare Costs in Retirement, for more information on common age-related health issues, their costs, and how you can pay for the care you need.