Did you know that about 10% of the entire population of America has some form of diabetes? That’s over 30 million people. Furthermore, about 25% of those with some form of diabetes are 65-years-old and older, about 12 million seniors.
The majority of the 30 million Americans with some form of diabetes have type 2 often caused by their diet, weight, and lack of activity/exercise, meaning the diabetes is most likely preventable and reversible. At the current rate, some experts predict that 1 in every 5 Americans will have some form of diabetes by 2050.
One reliable source predicts that the US population in 2050 will reach 438 million (the current population is about 329.6 million). That means that by 2050, about 87.6 million Americans will have some form of diabetes by 2050, which means, based on the current ratio, that about 21.9 million people 65 or older will have some form of diabetes by 2050.
With the current costs of private healthcare insurance, the majority of seniors rely on Medicare for most of their medical needs. Depending on their coverage, they can have Medicare coverage for their test meters, test strips, and lancets, but there is another Medicare benefit that millions of seniors are not taking advantage of, probably because they are unaware of it.
Medicare covers personal nutritional counseling, a benefit that few are using. Can this make a difference? It did for Louis Rocco, as reported:
Louis Rocco has lived with diabetes for decades but, until he met with a registered dietitian in August, he didn’t know eating too much bread was dangerous for him.
“I’m Italian, and I always eat a lot of bread,” he said. After two hour-long visits with a dietitian — including a session at his local grocery store in Philadelphia — Rocco, 90, has noticed a difference in his health.
“It’s helped bring down my sugar readings,” he said of changes in his diet including eating less bread. “I wish I knew I could have had this help years ago.”
After getting a referral this summer from his doctor, Rocco learned that Medicare covers personal nutritional counseling for people with diabetes or kidney disease.
The same report says that there are around 100,000 registered dieticians in America, which should be enough to help the millions of seniors living with diabetes.
Many seniors may be just like Louis Rocco in that they are unaware that some of the foods or drinks that are part of their ethnic heritage and habit could be the cause of their diabetes. For Rocco, it was his bread, but for others, it could pasta, cheese, red meats any other food or drink that they’ve been consuming all of their life.
If you, or someone in your family, are a senior and living with diabetes, and have Medicare, you, or they, check out the coverage for a personal nutritional counselor. Meeting with the dieticians not only will help improve your health, but it could help you live longer and possibly put your type 2 diabetes in remission.