Objectives: To address specific issues related to the "geriatric syndrome" that may impact diabetes disease management.
Data sources: Live symposium presentation based on clinical practice and research, literature, and published studies on the treatment and management of diabetes, and treatment center recommendations.
Conclusions: Diabetes management in the elderly presents unique challenges. Clinical and functional diversity as well as multiple coexisting medical conditions in this population need special attention. Treatment goals should be formulated with an awareness of the medical, functional, social, and financial environment of the older adult. Aspects of the geriatric syndrome that can adversely affect the successful management of diabetes include cognitive dysfunction, depression, physical disabilities, and polypharmacy. Pharmacists can assist health care providers in identifying polypharmacy, overmedication, undermedication, and drug interactions, and in providing recommendations for simplified medication regimens and administration options to enhance the outcome of diabetes care in this population.