Over 25% of Americans over the age of 65 have diabetes. The complications of diabetes put seniors at a greater risk for developing other serious medical conditions, such as heart disease and a loss of vision. Some of the best ways to prevent diabetes from starting is to maintain a healthy weight, eat balanced meals, get daily exercise and visit your doctor. Early detection and proper treatment are essential to maintaining your quality of life.

Below are the most common health conditions that can result from diabetes complications.

Heart Disease

Seniors with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about which heart disease you may be more likely to develop. This way, you can watch for warning signs and contact a doctor immediately if symptoms start. Of course, the best way to control the diabetes and prevent heart disease is to improve your diet and exercise daily.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Researchers are learning that there is a link between Alzheimer’s and dementia and diabetes. Seniors with diabetes are twice as likely to develop the cognitive disorders. It’s not exactly clear why this is the case, but it may be that decreased blood flow to the brain is responsible, at least to some degree. If you notice signs of memory loss or personality changes, see a doctor immediately.

Falls and Fractures

Diabetes can impact your stability because it’s more difficult to get around. You may have tingling in your feet or lower extremities, or you may be overweight. Either way, falls and fractures are a real possibility when you have diabetes. Upgrading to a fall-proof home is a smart decision.

Medication Overdoses

Drug overdoses are always a possibility when you’re taking multiple medications. Diabetic seniors take an average of six or more pills a day. With so many medications being used at once, you run the risk of having adverse reactions and dangerous drug interactions. The best way to prevent this is by using a pillbox or another type of medication management tool.

Diabetes is more than a condition that affects insulin levels. In many cases, the disease is linked to poor heart health, cognitive decline, vision or hearing impairments, incontinence and depression. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, take the diagnosis seriously. Some of the effects are reversible. It’s never too late to be healthy!