Owners' Blog

Caring for a Senior with Diabetes

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Senior Care in Roswell GA

Type 2 Diabetes is one medical condition that has become surprisingly common in the older population. In fact, the American Diabetes Association reported that 25.9 percent of Americans over Senior-Care-Roswell-GAthe age of 65, or 11.8 million seniors, have this medical condition. Diabetes occurs when the body is not able to make enough insulin, which is needed to convert sugar into energy. If you fear the loved one you are providing elderly care has diabetes or they have recently been diagnosed, the first step is educating yourself on the condition and helping them make healthy choices.

Learn about the condition
Diabetes can become very serious if the elder is not taking good care of themselves, such as making poor eating decisions or not being active. Before a crisis happens, learn everything you can about the condition to better care for your loved one. Blood sugar levels must regularly be checked for someone with this condition. High blood sugar is often the result of eating too much, having too little insulin in the body, or being stressed. These signs include:

  • Needing to urinate frequently
  • Extreme thirst or hunger
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea

On the other end of the spectrum, low blood sugar could also cause some changes to your loved one’s health. This can be caused by eating too little or exercising too much. Signs of low blood sugar to look for include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Hunger
  • Anxiety
  • Being weak or tired
  • Irritability

If any of these signs are evident in your aging parents who are receiving in-home care, encourage them to check their levels and take the necessary measure to correct their blood sugar levels.

The importance of exercising
Exercise has many benefits for people of all ages, but can especially be beneficial to those with diabetes. Some of the ways staying active has proven to have a positive effect on people with Type 2 Diabetes include:

  • It lowers the chances of serious health complications arising due to diabetes.
  • It helps lower stress levels.
  • It has been proven to improve glucose tolerance, which means blood sugar levels are more easily managed without the use of medications.
  • It helps your loved one maintain a healthy weight.
  • It can prevent diabetes from occurring at all.

Unless your aging parents have been regularly exercising, trying to get them to stay active can be a challenge. What they do not know is that staying active does not necessarily mean they have to join a gym or do any activities that may cause aches and pains. Going for a 30 minute walk each day has been proven to be beneficial to everyone’s health. Gardening, water aerobics, and household chores are all great ways to help your loved one stay active without them even realizing they are getting exercise.

Offer emotional support
When someone becomes diagnosed with diabetes, it can cause many different emotions, such as fear, worry, or being overwhelmed. The best thing you can do for the loved one you are providing senior care for is offer emotional support. Let them talk about their feelings and frustrations and encourage them to join a diabetes support group where they can meet and learn from others with the same condition. Also, encouraging them to make changes to their diet and exercise could greatly improve their health, possibly removing diabetes for good.  If you need assistance with a good diet and exercise plan, talk to their doctor.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care services in Roswell, GA, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Alpharetta. Call today (678) 430-8511.

 

Source
Care.com. “Caring for Seniors with Diabetes.”

American Diabetes Association. “Statistics About Diabetes.”