The Lived Experience of Older Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetes-Related Distress

Lenore Hernandez, Heather Leutwyler, Janine Cataldo, Alka Kanaya, Arthur Swislocki, Catherine Chesla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


An older, more diverse population and longer lifespans are major contributors to the anticipated tripling of diabetes prevalence by 2050. Diabetes-related distress affects up to 40% of people with diabetes and may be a higher risk for older adults due to greater prevalence of comorbidities. The objective of the current phenomenological study was to describe how diabetes-related distress might be uniquely experienced by older adults (age ≥65) with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Interpretive phenomenology guided the research design and analysis. Everyday life experiences of living with T2DM and elevated diabetes distress were investigated with interpretive interviews. The most prevalent lived experiences were strained relationships with health care providers, guilt, fear, loneliness, and forgetfulness. These experiences created challenges in managing diabetes and increased diabetes-related distress. Improving knowledge regarding the lived experience of older adults with diabetes-related distress may allow health care providers to tailor treatment to this population, thus improving outcomes. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 46(3), 37-44.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gerontological Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Gerontology


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