The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program helps older adults with prediabetes make the required lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes, but there are currently few providers available to meet the growing need for the program
Information and advice on living more healthy lives, it seems, is everywhere. It’s on every platform, digital and traditional—online and print, videos and books, webinars and live seminars, network news and online features.
You’ve probably heard of diabetes—but what about prediabetes? Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to qualify as diabetes. While almost half of older adults have prediabetes, nearly nine out of ten don’t know they have it. That’s why having this conversation is so important.
Screening for osteoporosis among high-risk populations, including postmenopausal women, is essential. Women found to have low bone density due to osteoporosis or osteopenia (a precursor to osteoporosis) can reduce their risk of future bone fracture with lifestyle changes and drug therapies. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all women ages 65 years and older undergo bone density testing to screen for osteoporosis, and that some younger women receive targeted screening based on individual risk assessments.
Fragility fractures are a common — but not inevitable — part of aging. These bone fractures, which occur during normal activities or following a fall, are a leading cause of pain, disability and loss of independence among older adults. Approximately half of all women and a quarter of all men age 50 and older will suffer from one or more fragility fractures in their remaining lifetime.
Diabetes among older adults is associated with significant health and cost burdens. Nearly a quarter of individuals age 65 and older have been diagnosed with diabetes, and one of every three Medicare dollars is spent on beneficiaries living with the condition. An estimated one-half of the Medicare population is prediabetic, meaning their blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to warrant a diabetes diagnosis.
When I tell people I’m caring for my 91-year-old dad who has Alzheimer’s disease, they look at me sympathetically and say, “I don’t know how you do it.” When they learn that I also cared for my grandmother when she had Alzheimer’s, they gingerly ask, “Are you afraid of getting it yourself?”
Search AARP Blogs