Monday, October 27, 2014

Helping Your Senior to Manage their Diabetes

Diabetes can occur at any age but can become more difficult to manage as people get older. As overall health, mobility, and mental alertness decline, it can be challenging to maintain control over diabetes. If blood sugar is not well controlled, it can lead to other serious issues. Working with your loved one to better manage their health can help prevent complications and enhance their wellbeing.

Make sure they have supplies and know how to use them. Check in with your loved one periodically to make sure that they have enough supplies to check their blood sugar and insulin to help control it. Ensure that they know when and how to use equipment, what acceptable ranges for their blood sugar are, and how to determine how much insulin they need when necessary. Writing down their blood glucose levels can help to track any issues or concerns.

Create healthy meals together. Just because they have diabetes does not mean that they can’t enjoy some of their favorite foods. They just have to monitor what they are eating and know how it affects their diabetes. Try new recipes and work with them to create healthy options that help to keep their blood sugar in check and still taste great. You can always make extras and freeze them for fast, simple meal choices. Make sure they know how much of each food group they should be eating and how it affects their blood sugar.

Encourage exercise. Staying active can help regulate blood sugar and is also beneficial for overall health and mobility. Go for walks together, sign them up for an exercise class, or come up with simple routines they can do at home.

Arrange in-home care. An in-home caregiver can help with meal preparation, medication, grocery shopping, physical activity, and more. They can provide companionship and ensure your loved one is following proper guidelines for managing their diabetes. If issues or concerns should arise, they can alert you to these problems or get your loved one help in an emergency.

Keep up with exams. Diabetes can affect various parts of the body. Make sure to schedule regular vision and dental exams to identify and treat problems early on. Check their feet for signs of sores, infections, calluses, or blisters. If not monitored, they can lead to more serious problems. Other exams can check for kidney health, cholesterol, and average blood glucose level. This can help the doctor to determine a more effective course of action and help your senior to maintain optimal health.

Talk to your loved one about their diabetes and ensure that they understand the importance of taking good care of themselves. Work together to create routines and reminders that help them to stay on top of things and make healthier decisions. Encourage them to speak up if they notice any changes, even if they seem minor. Being proactive can help them to better protect their health.

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