According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 25.2 percent of seniors have diabetes, and this number is expected to rise due to increasing obesity rates. A diabetes diagnosis isn’t the end of the world, but it does mean your senior loved one’s body isn’t processing carbohydrates and sugar as well as it should, resulting in high blood sugar levels. When left untreated, diabetes can cause a variety of complications. Here are a few ways your loved one can handle diabetes and take charge of his or her life.
Develop a Treatment Plan
There are two forms of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops working, which means insulin is no longer being released and the body’s ability to convert sugar into energy is affected. With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still makes insulin, but the body is no longer able to properly use it, which results in high blood sugar levels. Most seniors with diabetes have type 2. Your loved one will be diagnosed with diabetes if his or her fasting blood sugar levels are over 126 mg/dl on two separate occasions or if he or she has an A1C level of 6.5 percent or above. Once diagnosed, your loved one will need to form a plan with the doctor to get his or her blood sugar levels within a normal range. A typical diabetes treatment plan may include diet changes, medication, and exercise. Considering professional in-home care is also an integral part of creating a diabetes treatment plan. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of homecare services.Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.
Visit a Dietitian
Your loved one may still be able to eat the foods he or she loves. However, these foods will need to be eaten in the correct portions. A dietitian can work with your loved one to make a diet plan with a careful balance of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat to prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high or dropping too low. Once your loved one has a diet plan, go grocery shopping together and stock his or her shelves and fridge with healthy foods.
The doctor may prescribe one or more medications to help your loved one’s body properly use the sugar he or she consumes. It’s important for your loved one to take these medications regularly. If your loved one has been prescribed insulin, he or she will also need to learn how to administer the injections. Placing the medications in a pill organizer for your loved one can ensure he or she doesn’t take too much or too little of any of the medications. Hiring a professional caregiver is another way to ensure your loved one receives reminders to take his or her medications on time. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Arlington Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
Exercise is a great way to keep blood sugar levels in check. Get out and walk, swim, golf, or play tennis with your loved one to spend time with each other, burn off excess blood sugar, and develop toned muscles.
Keep Regular Appointments with Specialists
High blood sugar levels affect the kidneys, heart, eyes, and teeth. Your loved one will need to meet regularly with his or her doctor, ophthalmologist, and dentist. Regular appointments can prevent or treat complications of diabetes in the early stages. You can help your loved one keep these appointments by arranging for transportation or by accompanying him or her. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Arlington, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (817) 591-1580.