According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 25% of the population that is age 65 or older in the United States has been diagnosed with Diabetes. Diabetes is a serious disease that, when diagnosed in older adults, has been linked to higher mortality, reduced functional status, and increased risk of institutionalization. Older adults with diabetes are also at substantial risk for both acute and chronic micro vascular and cardiovascular complications of the disease.
Diabetes occurs and is diagnosed in patients when their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high and difficult to manage and keep within normal range. There is some good news though, Type 2 Diabetes, the most common form of the disease to develop in older adults, can be prevented or even delayed with some healthy lifestyle changes. One in three Americans is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, which can lead to complications like kidney disease, blindness, and amputations.
If you have diabetes, Medicare covers many of your supplies, including insulin, test strips, monitors, lancets and control solutions. In some cases, Medicare Part B also covers therapeutic shoes if you have diabetic foot complications. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for these supplies.
Many Medicare beneficiaries may not know that Original Medicare also covers diabetes self-management training to help you learn how to better manage your diabetes. These training sessions teach you how to monitor your blood sugar, control your diet, exercise, and manage your prescription medications. If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes, talk to your doctor about how this training can help you stay healthy and avoid serious complications.
Knowing your risk is the first step. Many people with diabetes don’t know that they have it, but Medicare covers screening tests so you can find out if you do. If you are having health problems and suspect that you may be suffering from an illness like this, take control of your health- call and speak with your doctor today about which screening tests, supplies, and training may help you stay healthy.
Want to check if you are at risk for Type 2 Diabetes? Check out this 60 Second Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test from the American Diabetes Association.