How Seniors Can Manage Diabetes With Medicare
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Being diagnosed with diabetes can be scary for seniors. Learning how to navigate Medicare and diabetes management plans can be even scarier. However, with the right resources and the right knowledge, you can set your fears aside when it comes to dealing with diabetes. Here are some simple tips that can help you decode your diagnosis and make sense of how diabetes can impact your healthcare and your lifestyle.
Research All of Your Healthcare Resources
Do you understand your Medicare coverage? If you don’t, you are not alone. Navigating Medicare coverage and supplemental plans is enough of a challenge without having to worry about how your diabetes fits into the picture. If you are among the 25 percent of adults over the age of 65 living with diabetes, you may need some extra guidance when it comes to your Medicare benefits. Look for online user resources and guides to make short work out of navigating Medicare and alternative plans like Medicare Advantage.
For many seniors with diabetes, Medicare may not be enough to cover the expenses of testing supplies and medications needed to manage diabetic symptoms. You should also look for assistance programs for diabetes, which can cover these costs without causing additional stress for you. Ask your doctor about patient assistance programs, or check to see if you qualify for help with your prescription diabetes medications.
Understand Your Diabetes Diagnosis and Treatment
Being diagnosed with diabetes can be confusing due to Medicare but also due to the variations of this chronic health condition. It’s helpful to understand both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in order to fully understand your diagnosis. The main difference comes down to whether you do not produce insulin naturally (type 1) or whether your body simply cannot metabolize insulin correctly (type 2). Type 2 tends to develop later in life, which is why this diabetes is most prevalent in seniors. You may notice symptoms of your condition, such as feeling tired more often or gaining weight, or you may not be aware of your diabetes until confirmed by a doctor. Either way, the treatment for type 2 diabetes will generally involve the same steps. You’ll likely be prescribed a medication to manage your condition, so check whether your Medicare coverage includes prescriptions. You will also need to confirm coverage for testing strips and equipment, which is essential for daily management of type 2 diabetes.
Make Lifestyle Changes to Manage Your Diabetes
You may be surprised to learn that the best tools for managing your diabetes are simple changes to your daily lifestyle. Exercise is especially potent for combating the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. A regular fitness routine can help diabetic adults by making it easier to maintain a healthy weight and manage the negative effects of chronic stress. You can get these benefits by committing to a daily walk or enrolling in a fitness program. Some fitness programs, such as Silver Sneakers and SeniorPHIT, may even be covered by Medicare, which can make it more affordable for seniors to access gyms and workout classes.
Working out on a regular basis can balance out your diabetic symptoms, but you also need to have more control over your diet when living with diabetes. Take note of problematic and helpful foods so that you can create a healthy eating plan that best benefits your well-being. Processed foods and simple carbs such as potato chips and candy are usually diabetes “no-nos.” However, lean proteins such as turkey and chicken can help you maintain a healthy weight and help you stay in control of your diabetes treatment.
Being diagnosed with diabetes can be stressful but it doesn’t have to stop you from living your best life. You can use online resources to answer all of your Medicare coverage questions surrounding your diabetes and look for additional financial help. But you can also commit to lifestyle changes that can improve your symptoms and help you boost your overall health. It’s a one-two punch that can help you conquer your diabetes diagnosis.
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