Diabetes is a debilitating condition for anyone who experiences it. Being diagnosed with this condition is life-changing, especially now that there are no treatments yet to cure a patient of it. However, people who have diabetes can change the way they eat to prolong the risks of the sickness, and it can be done along with the maintenance of proper medication.
If you live with someone diagnosed with diabetes, especially if it’s an elderly family member, it will help to understand their condition better to guide their health and prevent any complications. Here are several home health care tips for aging diabetic patients:
Promote healthy eating
If you are looking after a diabetes patient, make sure you are not the one pushing them to eat prohibited foods, such as sugar. So, make sure they are eating foods with a low glycemic index. Also, help them to plan and cook their meals by sticking to their diabetic diet.
Monitor glucose levels
The key to maintaining a stable condition for a person with diabetes is by monitoring their blood sugar level. The goal is not just to keep the sugar level low but also to keep it high enough. The blood glucose of a diabetic person can fluctuate between high (hyperglycemia) to low (hypoglycemia). This is why it must be monitored regularly to prevent other triggers.
According to The American Diabetes Association, it is recommended that instead of targeting specific blood glucose, just aim for a healthy range. Before eating, the sugar level of a diabetic person must be within the range of 70–130 mg/dL and should be less than 180mg/dL two hours after eating.
Manage medication intake
The popular medicine for patients with diabetes 1 is insulin, while those with diabetes 2 are given Metformin. Aside from these, patients are also prescribed other medications. Taking medicines on time will keep the blood glucose level safe and avoid further complications. If a patient is too old to manage the medication, you must always ensure that someone is around to responsibly guide them in taking meds on time.
Offer them healthy snacks
Skipping meals is not suitable for diabetic patients because it could lead to a drop in their sugar levels. As the sugar in blood fluctuates, they can experience a change in eye prescription and, worse, could pass out, which is terrible when they’re alone.
As such, make it a habit to bring a healthy snack for your diabetic family member when you are going out. If they still can and want to go on their own, pack some nutritious snacks for them to prevent skipping meals and candies just in case their sugar level drops.
Encourage regular exercise
Caring for diabetic patients involves encouraging them to stay active. If they are too old and weak to do light exercises, just help them move their feet for a short walk. A 10-minute walk can already change the entire mood and it can also help them maintain a positive approach towards their condition. On top of that, it is one natural way to keep their sugar levels normal.
Diabetes may seem like a simple condition until you realize how complicated it is to live with it. And while we are blessed with good health, you should extend your hands to patients suffering from it, especially if you have an elderly member at home. More patience and care should be given when tending to the elderly with diabetes. Help them understand that everything you are doing is for their good.
If you need help from someone else to focus on your loved ones’ health, there are home health care agencies in California that can provide genuine care to your aging family member. Bridge Home Health & Hospice offers home-based care by trained therapists and nurses, so you can rest assured that your loved ones’ health is cared for. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services!