Tips for Managing Diabetes

Diabetes can be a difficult diagnosis for a senior and their family to hear, but it does not have to be devastating.  It is manageable and can be controlled with a few lifestyle changes.  Seniors who have the disease can still live full, healthy lives if they are aware of certain tips.  Caregivers who provide ongoing care for family members also need to know these tips.

Exercise

Regular exercise can help keep diabetes under control, but it can be difficult for some seniors to maintain.  Due to health issues, they may be limited on the amount and types of exercise they can do.  Even walking can be painful for some people.  However, exercise is an essential part of any diabetes management plan.  Options such as swimming and stretching can provide the needed exercise.  Talk with your loved one’s doctor to discuss exercises they are able to safely perform.

Diet

Healthy food plays a major role in managing diabetes, but it can be hard to get seniors to eat the right foods.  They may not feel like fixing meals or have less appetite and not eat enough to manage their blood sugar.  Homecare services can provide caregivers that will prepare balanced meals and encourage the person to eat.  Sometimes having someone visit the senior during their mealtime can increase their appetite.

It can be overwhelming to look at a diabetic food plan and learn what types of foods to eat and not eat.  Talking with a nutritionist or dietician can answer questions you might have and help you understand the meal plan.

Medication

Often people with diabetes must take daily medication or insulin shots to manage their condition.  It can be easy for them to forget and miss a dose or take it at the wrong time.  Caregivers need to know the exact requirements of the medicine to assist their family member, such as if it should be taken with food or before meals.  They can put the medicine in a planner in a convenient location to help the person remember to take it.

You can also use notes in an obvious location to remind them of shots or medicine or to check their blood sugar levels.  The bathroom mirror or on a kitchen cabinet are two places that will be obvious for them to see the notes.  This is another area where homecare services can provide peace of mind for the family by reminding the person of their medication at the appropriate time.

Attend Doctor’s Appointments

It is essential that the senior attend any scheduled doctor’s visits to be monitored for their diabetes.  Their medication or insulin may need to be adjusted; the doctor will also look for any other problems that could be the effects of the disease.  This can include:

  • Wounds that don’t heal
  • Poor blood circulation in legs and feet
  • Vision changes
  • Heart problems

And any other concerns that you may have with your family member’s health should be discussed with their health care provider.

Provide Social Stimulation

Depression can be a big problem for people diagnosed with diabetes.  They might be overwhelmed and hopeless with the situation and feel that their body is failing them.  This can lead to them withdrawing from those around them and losing their appetite, which leads to poor nutrition and can compound the problem.

Interacting with other seniors and people of all ages, especially those that have been diagnosed with diabetes and still lead full lives, can help the person have hope.  You can find local support groups that will provide encouragement and information.

You might want to consider homecare services if your family member is not receiving it.  A professional caregiver can be someone for them to talk to and involve them in activities to help fight depression.

Diabetes does not have to be a hopeless diagnosis for the senior.  With the right management plan, they can lead full, active lives.  However, the burden may be placed on you as their primary caregiver to help them manage the condition to prevent additional health concerns.

Carefect Homecare Services provides many services to assist you with caring for your loved one that has been diagnosed with diabetes.  Our caregivers can prepare meals and remind the senior to take their medication or insulin shots.  We train our staff in the health issues related to diabetes so they are knowledgeable about the disease.  They can help your family member get exercise and assist them in getting to doctor appointments.  Having Carefect Homecare Services as your homecare service provider can offer you a peace of mind knowing your loved one is being well taken care of.

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