The guidance was produced from a collaboration between experts in diabetes medicine, primary care, and geriatric medicine, led by Dr David Strain at the University of Exeter Medical School.
‘A framework for the assessment of older adults with diabetes with guideline for the management of this population according to their frailty status has been released by a team of experts. This may help reduce complications and improve the quality of life for senior citizens with diabetes.’
It will advise clinicians on helping elderly people with Type-2 diabetes
get the most out of treatment options, and for the first time contains guidance on how and when to stop diabetes treatments in particularly frail adults.
Dr Strain said: "Older adults have been systematically excluded from clinical trials and have very different ambitions from their diabetes management. This guidance puts the older person with diabetes firmly back at the center of target setting, ensuring that appropriate goals are agreed to achieve the best quality of life possible, without continuing treatments that would not provide any benefit and potentially cause harm."
The report authors hope it will ultimately be incorporated into national guidance for GPs, to advise GPs on the management of Type-2 diabetes in elderly adults, aiming to reduce complications and improve quality of life.
The guidance will be adopted across Devon immediately. The authors hope local health and care commissioners will adopt and implement these principles in their own areas.
Pav Kalsi, Senior Clinical Advisor at Diabetes UK, said: "People with diabetes rightly deserve to have access to the right care and support at every stage of their life, and that means the care they receive needs to be adapted and tailored to suit each individual's changing needs. For example, those who are elderly, and potentially frail, often have different priorities, such as safety and quality of life.
We're really pleased that these new guidelines will, for the first time, help healthcare professionals give this tailored support and will help them review and decide whether to stop diabetes treatment for particularly frail adults.
In the future, we hope these guidelines will have a positive impact on the lives of older people with diabetes."
The research is published in Diabetic Medicine
, the journal of Diabetes UK.