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Steps to Take if Your Loved One Develops Diabetes

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Diabetes can heighten your senior loved one’s risk for developing heart disease, stroke, and kidney disorders. Fortunately, diabetes-related health disorders can be prevented through lifestyle changes and seeing the physician on a regular basis. Here are some steps to take if your parent develops diabetes.

Carefully Monitor Blood Glucose

Monitoring blood glucose levels is one of the best ways to manage diabetes. When glucose levels drop, your parent should consider taking a medication or having a snack. If your loved one fears glucose testing because of the finger sticks, consider purchasing a different type of glucose monitoring system that won’t cause discomfort. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Birmingham, Alabama, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Maintain a Therapeutic Diet

If your loved one develops diabetes, his or her physician may recommend a therapeutic diet to keep blood sugar levels stable. Diabetic diets are often referred to as exchange diets, and they are typically easy to follow. While therapeutic diabetic diets allow for snacks and other favorite foods, your parent may have his or her own dietary preferences. It’s for this reason that your loved one may not always comply with the physician’s dietary recommendations. It’s important to monitor your parent’s dietary intake to ensure compliance with diabetic dietary restrictions.

Encourage Exercise

When seniors first get diagnosed with diabetes, they may feel depressed and anxious. To stave off depression and develop a more positive outlook, encourage your parent to exercise regularly. While exercise is an important component of a diabetic care plan, speak to the physician before encouraging your loved one to embark on a new exercise regimen. If your parent has health conditions such as chronic pain, limited mobility, poor vision, circulation issues, or osteoporosis, work with a physical therapist to develop a customized exercise plan. 

Many older adults need help exercising. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Birmingham respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Watch for Abnormal Symptoms

Early diabetes can cause symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, or high blood sugar and low blood sugar respectively. These conditions may be more common in newly diagnosed people who are just beginning their medication and diet routines. If your loved one experiences dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, sweating, rapid heart rate, or a decreased level of consciousness, seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible. These symptoms may indicate blood glucose abnormalities that need to be evaluated and treated right away. The sooner these spikes in blood sugar levels are recognized and treated, the less likely your parent will experience diabetes-related health complications.

Older adults living with diabetes or other serious health issues can benefit from professional in-home care. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Birmingham 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. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly parent, give us a call at (205) 438-6927 today.