Helping an Elderly Parent With Diabetes

Diabetes is a common health condition among the elderly and can lead to serious complications if not managed properly. If your parent has been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important for your parent to closely monitor his or her blood sugar and eat a healthy diet. However, as you parent ages, managing diabetes can be a difficult thing for him or her to do alone. Here are some tips for helping an elderly parent manage diabetes:

Encourage a Healthy Diet

While it’s a good idea for all elderly people to eat a healthy diet, it’s especially crucial for diabetics. If a diabetic eats the wrong things, blood sugar levels can spike and cause complications. One of the first things you should do is lower your parent’s intake of carbohydrates, as they can spike blood sugar levels. Ask your parent’s doctor how many grams of carbohydrates your parent should consume each day.

Make Sure Your Parent Takes Insulin Correctly

Insulin is the most common medicine used to treat diabetes. If your parent was prescribed insulin, you should make sure that he or she takes it at the right times and stores it at the correct temperature. Otherwise, it won’t work like it should. If your parent has trouble remembering to take insulin every day, consider setting reminders on a smartphone or tablet for him or her. You could also hire an home care nurse to come to your parent’s home every day to administer the medication.

Help Your Parent Exercise

Exercise will help your parent maintain a health weight and control blood sugar levels, which are both important for managing diabetes. Encourage your parent do a variety of different exercises, such as brisk walking, swimming, biking and yoga. Make sure your parent eats a small snack before exercising so he or she has enough energy.

Know the Signs of Low Blood Sugar

While it’s best to keep you parent’s blood sugar from getting too low, sometimes it can still dip. That’s why you need to know that signs of low blood sugar, such as blurry vision, loss of consciousness, slurring words and dizziness. If your parent is displaying any of these signs, get him or her to a hospital right away.

Regularly Inspect Your Parent’s Feet

Diabetics are more prone to getting infections in their feet, so it’s important to inspect your parent’s feet regularly. Look for sores, fungus and other abnormalities. If you detect any issues, you should take your parent to see a foot doctor soon.

Hire a Home Nurse

If you need a break from taking care of your diabetic parent, consider hire a home nurse. This healthcare professional can help look after your parent while you’re not around. He or she can do everything from administering medications to inspecting your parent’s feet for sores and other abnormalities.

If you need additional help caring for your diabetic parent, hire an experienced home care nurse.