Diabetes causes excessively high amounts of sugar in the blood. If left untreated, high sugar levels can damage nerves and impair healing until a senior ends up with severe infections, blindness, or loss of limbs. It’s important for seniors with diabetes to manage their blood glucose levels and try to stay healthy. Here are a few tips to help your elderly loved one manage diabetes symptoms and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Diet has a significant impact on blood sugar levels, and a proper diet can also lower a senior’s weight. For seniors with mild diabetes, a proper diet can alleviate several symptoms. Meals for diabetics should be low in sugar and saturated fats, and it’s important for seniors to get a lot of fiber from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Carbohydrates can cause issues when eaten in high amounts, so it’s best for seniors to stay below 60 grams of carbohydrates a day.
Seniors who need help preparing nutritious meals to relieve the symptoms of diabetes can benefit from professional in-home care. Homecare professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Test Blood Sugar Regularly
Seniors who have diabetes can take control of their situation by becoming aware of how their blood sugar levels fluctuate. Though finger prick tests may not seem pleasant, seniors become more comfortable once they get used to the routine. Most seniors need to test their blood sugar levels right before meals and at bedtime. If your loved one’s blood sugar levels seem dangerously high or low, he or she may need to take medications or eat a small snack.
Take Medication Promptly
The most common medication for diabetics is insulin, but seniors with type 2 diabetes may also be prescribed other types of medication to manage blood sugar. It’s important to follow the doctor’s recommendations and take medications at the right time each day. Forgetful seniors may need to set a reminder to let them know when to take their medication.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs regular medication reminders or minor help with daily tasks. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Huntsville 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.
Check Limbs for Wounds Daily
One of the biggest dangers for seniors with diabetes is sepsis, which can happen when a small wound gets infected and doesn’t heal. Since diabetes can also cause numbness in the feet and hands, some seniors may not even realize they’re injured. Check your loved one’s limbs carefully each day, especially the feet, for any cuts or scrapes. Any injuries should be disinfected promptly, and you may need to seek medical help if they don’t heal.
Get More Exercise
Exercise can be even more effective than medication for managing diabetes. Engaging in physical activity lowers blood sugar levels because the body uses up glucose for energy during exercise. Some seniors may not be able to do vigorous exercise, but even a slow walk or a gentle swim can bring blood sugar levels down to a safer number.
Diabetes is a serious health concern that can impact a senior’s overall quality of life. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. Huntsville families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (256) 716-9940.