Day to day management of diabetes can be difficult for senior adults who require more specialized care than their non-diabetic counterparts. If you provide Centennial home care for a senior loved one with diabetes, the more you understand about how to manage the disease, the more likely you’ll be able to provide safe, effective care. Below are some of the most important things that caregivers of diabetic patients should know.
- Check Blood Sugar Regularly – This may sound obvious, but one of the most important things you can do for your loved one is to check his or her blood sugar on a regular basis (your doctor will tell you how often this should be, but 1-4 times a day is typical) and then record levels in a daily log. Many patients and families are not compliant with a log, and without such information, it can be much harder for your doctor to determine if current treatments are effective.
- Know the Signs and Symptoms of High and Low Blood Sugar – Knowing the symptoms your loved one can exhibit if their blood sugar is abnormally high or low is a vital part of diabetic care. Signs and symptoms of high blood sugar include an increase in urination and thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, nausea and blurred vision. Common signs of low blood sugar include confusion and drowsiness, headache, weakness and fatigue, hunger and lack of coordination. Being aware of these symptoms can help you identify problems before they become more serious.
- Practice Daily Foot Care – Diabetes is the leading cause of amputations in the United States and this complication usually begins with minor injuries to the feet. To prevent this, south metro Denver caregivers need to perform a thorough foot inspection. Be sure to look at all surfaces of the skin, including the back of the heel and between the toes to make sure there are no calluses, red marks, scratches or any other signs of skin breakdown or trauma. Be sure to wash and dry the feet thoroughly, apply lotion if the feet are dry (except between the toes), and make sure your loved one is wearing diabetic shoes and socks to keep the feet healthy.
- Be Compliant with a Diabetic Diet – Being compliant with a diabetic diet is the single best way to keep blood sugars in a good range and prevent more serious complications including kidney failure, loss of sight, damage to the nerves in the arms and legs and can also reduce the risk of stroke. A diabetic diet includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meat and dairy and limits foods that are high in sugar or starch, such as pastries, cakes, regular sodas, potatoes, corn, white breads and pastas and white rice.
These are not the only considerations to be made when you are caring for a loved one with diabetes. However, taking these all into account on a daily basis can help you slow the progression of the disease and prevent some of its more serious complications. Our caregivers practice our proprietary Balanced Care Method which can help ensure they are following the correct diet. Call us at 303-957-3100 to speak with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers today.