Diabetes mellitus has a significant impact on the health and well-being of older people with this condition. The prevalence of diabetes and its associated complications is increasing in older people, leading to decline in functional status and quality of life. The appropriateness of tight glycaemic, blood pressure and lipid control for an older person with diabetes needs to be assessed individually. Although many pharmacological treatments for diabetes are available, their use in older people can be challenging due to increased risk of adverse reactions and drug-drug interactions with other medications. Rates of geriatric syndromes (e.g. depression, cognitive impairment, functional disability, urinary incontinence and falls) are increased in older people with diabetes. Multidisciplinary and multidimensional approach to management is essential to maintain independence and quality of life in older people with diabetes.