Diabetics may require home care because they are unable to independently perform their activities of daily living such as dressing, grooming, and bathing. Long-standing diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, which often causes significant vision problems. Other diabetes-related health problems include poor circulation, limited mobility, dietary challenges, and skin problems. Here are some ways a home care provider can help your senior loved one cope with diabetes-related health issues.
Therapeutic Meal Preparation
It is important that diabetics adhere to their therapeutic diets to make sure that their blood sugar levels remain stable. People with poorly-managed diabetes may be unable to prepare their meals because of diabetic retinopathy, peripheral neuropathy pain, or persistent fatigue.
The home healthcare professional can work with the physician or nutritionist to prepare diabetes-friendly meals that contain fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, lean sources of protein, legumes, and other foods that have low glycemic indexes.
Following the diabetic diet will help prevent obesity and blood glucose spikes. Managing diabetes through healthy eating may help slow the progression of neuropathy, cardiovascular disease, vision loss, and renal disease. Once blood sugar levels are consistently stable, your senior loved one may not have to take as much medication to manage his or her diabetes.
While the home care employee may be unable to administer diabetes medications such as insulin, he or she can remind your loved one to take his or her medications at the proper times. Home care services professionals can also read prescription labeling instructions and monitor the elderly patient for medication side effects.
New medications can cause adverse reactions such as dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness, and gastrointestinal problems. While these reactions often resolve after the individual becomes used to the medications, it is essential that the diabetic is monitored for side effects so that the doctor can be notified. Also, if a home health professional is with your loved one when a medication side effect occurs, the aging adult is less likely to sustain a fall as a result of dizziness or weakness.
If your senior loved one has diabetes and has vision or mobility problems, or if he or she suffers from diabetes-related neuropathic pain, call a home health agency to learn more about their services. After you have all the information you need, you and the aging adult can then make the decision to hire a home healthcare professional on a part-time basis or on an "around the clock" basis.