What Complications Can Diabetes Cause?

By 9  pm On


Older adults with diabetes are living longer and better lives than ever before thanks to improved treatments and medical care. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t sometimes cause some serious and dangerous complications. Knowing about the complications that can occur can help you to watch for them in your aging relative, so they can get the care they need sooner. Below are some common complications that can result from diabetes.

Cardiovascular Disease

Diabetes doubles the risk of an older adult developing heart disease or having a stroke. Other cardiovascular diseases that may occur are coronary artery disease, heart attack, and atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries). The symptoms seniors experience depends on the kind of cardiovascular problem they have. Talk to their doctor about the kind of disease they are most likely to develop considering their overall health and health history.

Vision Problems

Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels that feed the eye. This can result in vision loss. Some of the eye problems that can be caused by diabetes are:

  • Diabetic retinopathy.
  • Cataracts.
  • Glaucoma.

Kidney Issues

Inside the kidneys are millions of tiny blood vessels that have the important job of filtering waste products from the blood. Like the blood vessels in the eyes, these vessels can also be damaged by high blood sugar. This can lead to kidney failure or even end-stage kidney disease, requiring dialysis and/or a kidney transplant.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Believe it or not, diabetes can even lead to a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. According to research, the risk for Alzheimer’s in people with diabetes may be doubled. The worse the older adult’s control of their blood sugar is, the greater the risk for dementia.


Diabetes can damage nerves. Many people with diabetes develop nerve damage in their feet. This makes the feet numb and less sensitive. As a result, it can be easy for seniors to stumble and fall. Falls, as you may know, are very dangerous for older adults since they can lead to broken bones or head injuries. And, if falls occur when the person is alone, they may be unable to get the help they need, which can sometimes lead to death.

One way to lower the chances of your aging relative developing complications due to diabetes is to hire home care to assist them. Home care providers can help older adults to manage diabetes better in several ways. For example, a home care provider can prepare healthy meals. They can also remind your loved one to check their blood sugar and take medications.


If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in South Riding, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.