DPC2018 speaker slams ‘fragmented’ diabetes care for older people

Professor Alan Sinclair
Professor Alan Sinclair

An international expert professor, who will speak at the DPC2018 conference, says diabetes services for older people are “too fragmented” leaving them “vulnerable to poor health” in the later stages of their lives.


Professor Alan Sinclair, from the Foundation for Diabetes Research in Older People and Diabetes Frail, is a recognised specialist in the field of diabetes among older people.

He has carried out a number of research papers into the subject, more recently investigating diabetes services carried out in care home settings.

Professor Sinclair said: “Our review of research findings are quite worrying because we’ve found the level of diabetes care remains fragmented, which means many older people are becoming far more vulnerable to poor health than they should be.

“We believe more than a quarter of care home residents have type 2 diabetes, and it’s imperative those with the condition – at whatever age or domicile – carry out proper management. If the patient fails to control their diabetes, it can lead to frailty, dependency, disability and reduced life expectancy.

“There is also the added strain on the NHS as frequent hospital admissions to treat diabetes-related complications are costly, not to mention unsettling for the patient and family.”

Professor Sinclair, who has provided advice to NICE, Diabetes UK, ABCD, the Joint British Diabetes Societies, Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the UK Government Department of Health on matters relating to diabetes in older people, will speak on the second day of the DPC2018 conference.

A figurehead among the diabetes community, he will deliver a session on Individualising diabetes care for older people with a focus on frailty.

Professor Sinclair added: “High-quality individualised care for older people with diabetes would be hugely beneficial. Multiple comorbidities associated with ageing, combined with the increased prevalence of geriatric syndromes and frailty, contribute to the complexity of managing diabetes in older people.

“If healthcare professionals and care home teams recognise these unique challenges then we can begin finding solutions, addressing the declining diabetes health of this vulnerable sector of people who deserve the best possible level of care.”

DPC2018’s TREND-UK & Injection Technique Theatre will also include sessions on caring for older people with diabetes. For more information, read our story here.

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