The risk of diabetes is typically elevated among the elderly, in part because senior citizens may be less likely to be physically active and more likely to gain weight. Although diabetes places seniors at an increased risk of numerous health complications, it is possible to live life well with diabetes.Skilled nursing services from a home health care agency serving Milwaukee can help seniors manage their condition properly.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
Blood glucose monitoring is crucial for diabetes management. Unfortunately, many seniors have problems with this. Some seniors may have dexterity issues that prevent them from properly using the blood glucose meter. Others may have vision loss and cannot read their results. A home health care plan can include skilled nursing services to help seniors monitor their blood glucose as directed by their physicians.
Similarly, it’s often difficult for seniors to properly manage their diabetes medications. They may forget to take oral diabetes medications, inadvertently take extra dosages, neglect to refill prescriptions, or have trouble administering insulin injections. A registered nurse (RN) case manager from a home health care agency can organize medications, and administer injections and oral diabetes drugs.
Lifestyle choices such as diet have a significant effect on diabetes management. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for seniors to make unhealthy food choices or skip meals altogether. This can easily lead to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, which can be dangerous for a diabetic. Seniors with diabetes can benefit from having an elderly caregiver take them grocery shopping for healthy ingredients. Elderly caregivers can even prepare diabetes-friendly meals for seniors and provide mealtime companionship. Healthy meals for diabetic patients are those that are low in saturated fat, sugar, and sodium, and high in fiber, lean protein, and vitamins. Some examples of healthy food choices include legumes, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, and whole fruit instead of fruit juice.
Staying physically active is another way seniors with diabetes can manage their blood sugar levels. Exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar spikes. It may also reduce the risk of other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, which diabetics are at an increased risk of. Seniors with diabetes could go for a daily walk with their elderly caregivers or take an exercise class intended for seniors.