Those who are unable to control their diabetes can develop serious health issues. In senior citizens, diabetes can be very problematic, making the body more prone to infection, slowed healing, and organ failure. Knowing how to manage your diabetes can be very beneficial in living a healthy lifestyle. As a family member or caregiver, this can be very overwhelming. There are different strategies and techniques that can help your loved one manage their diabetes. As we move through National Nutrition Month, it is important to focus on the things you can do to aid a loved one who has diabetes. Here are some tips on how to care for a loved one with diabetes.
There is never a good time to be diagnosed with Diabetes. Not to mention, it isn’t easy for people to hear that they have been diagnosed with an incurable disease. However, diabetes is very common in people of all ages. According to a joint article from Novo Nordisk & the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, “Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes.” So as a family member or caregiver, the first thing that you should do is learn all that you can about diabetes. It is true, knowledge is power, in that the more you know about diabetes the easier it will be to help. To learn about managing diabetes, read our article,Diabetes Prevention Tips for Older Adults.
Diabetes can have great effects on both the life of the patient and their whole family. This disease not only affects what the patient eats but, also their activity level, moods, and weight. Therefore when caring for someone with diabetes it is important to walk the walk. By taking on some diabetes-friendly habits, you both can experience the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle. A few ways caregivers and family members can support their loved one with diabetes is to:
Maintain a healthy weight – whether through a healthier, diabetes diet for the elderly and/or proper exercise.
Eliminate fat and sugar from the diet – usually through eating more vegetables and whole grains while decreasing animal fats and sugars.
Eliminate stress – self-care is important, as are relaxing activities and mindfulness, and doing things that you enjoy.
Enroll in a Diabetes Self Management Program
You may want to consider in enrolling in a Diabetes Self Management Program if you have prediabetes or diabetes and have Medicare or Medicaid. Joining such a program can give you the knowledge to be proactive about your health and learn different diabetes techniques to live healthier. This can be extremely important when caring for a loved one with diabetes. Participating in a diabetes management program will also provide you with some advice on how to find the best Diabetes Care Team. A Diabetes Care Teamconsists of skilled health professionals that can help manage diabetes. It can be very overwhelming for the patient to discuss their issues or complications with the doctor, so it is important for the family member or caregiver to support and work with their Diabetes Care Team; telling the doctors what you know about the patient’s issues as well as asking questions to help your loved one get the best care possible.
At Poet’s Walk, a Spring Hills Memory Care Community, our caregivers can assist you and your loved one with diabetes prevention and management. Our Director of Resident Care, Karen Dufort explains, “At Poet’s Walk, we focus on helping our seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle by providing nutritious meals as well as exercise and physical recreation activities each and every day.” We hold diabetes management seminars that are focused on educating our clients on preventing and taking control of their diabetes, which can allow them to foster a stronger and more enriched mind, body, and spirit.