An international expert professor is calling for a shake up among fragmented services and wants individualised care for older people with diabetes.
Professor Alan Sinclair is a recognised specialist in the field of diabetes among older people and founded Diabetes Frail.
His comments come on the back of a growing push to spotlight diabetes care among older generations.
Earlier this month, Pulse reported that The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) plans to review its prevention advice regarding statins in older people. Doctors have also been urged not to overtreat older people with type 2 diabetes.
Those who are considered part of the older generation who have diabetes are more susceptible to other health conditions and Professor Sinclair believes the answer is ensuring better diabetes management is carried out.
Prof Sinclair said: “We’ve found the level of diabetes care remains fragmented, which means many older people are becoming far more vulnerable to poor health than they should be.
“We believe more than a quarter of care home residents have type 2 diabetes, and its imperative those with the condition – at whatever age or domicile – carry out proper management. If the patient fails to control their diabetes, it can lead to frailty, dependency, disability and reduced life expectancy.”
Among the more common diabetes-related complications older people with diabetes are also at greater risk of becoming very frail.
“Multiple comorbidities associated with ageing, combined with the increased prevalence of geriatric syndromes and frailty, contribute to the complexity of managing diabetes in older people,” added Prof Sinclair.
“If healthcare professionals and care home teams recognise these unique challenges then we can begin finding solutions, addressing the declining diabetes health of this vulnerable sector of people who deserve the best possible level of care.”
Prof Sinclair will discuss the subject further during his presentation at Diabetes Professional Care 2018, (DPC2018). The two-day event is the UK’s only national, free-to-attend and CPD-accredited conference for healthcare professionals involved in the prevention, treatment and management of diabetes, and its related conditions.
Taking place at London’s Olympia on 14 and 15 November, it invites delegates to attend presentations and workshops on a variety of topics, such as the childhood obesity strategy, type 2 diabetes reversal and diabetes burnouts.