Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease in which the pancreas produces too little or no insulin, impairing the body’s ability to turn sugar into usable energy. Diabetes is “enormously prevalent” in nursing homes. One out of every four residents over the age of 65 is diagnosed with the disease, according to a new report from the Institute for the Future of Aging Services.
Researchers analyzed the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey, which includes data representing 1.32 million nursing home residents over age 65. Among the findings: Non-white residents were twice as likely to have diabetes as white residents; diabetic residents were younger than their non-diabetic counterparts; and the prevalence of diabetes in U.S. nursing homes was higher in 2004 compared to previous years.
What do these numbers mean for the nursing home industry? It means you better have enough staff to take care of these diabetic residents who are at risk for other health problems and complications. It means you better regularly check their blood sugars as ordered by their treating doctors. It means you better watch out for pressure sores and wounds as they will not heal as quickly in a diabetic resident, posing an increased risk of infection.