How In-home Health Care Helps Diabetic Seniors
Diabetes can be an overwhelming diagnosis for a senior to receive. It's incredibly overwhelming if the senior is already dealing with other serious health issues. Home health care is a way to help manage diabetes for seniors and can make less of a stressful impact.
What is Diabetes?
There are two different types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is also called juvenile diabetes, but it can appear at any age. The body stops producing insulin, and it can't harvest the glucose from the person's bloodstream to get to the body's cells. Type 1 requires treatment by injecting insulin.
Type 2 diabetes will cause blood sugar to rise higher than normal levels. Eventually, the senior’s pancreas can’t manufacture enough insulin to control their blood sugar levels. However, type 2 can be treated by changing the diet and exercise.
Symptoms of Diabetes
There are symptoms that a person needs to be aware of since diabetes can happen at any stage of life. These symptoms are frequent urination, feeling extremely thirsty, extremely hungry, exhausted, and blurry vision.
Plus, cuts and bruises can linger or are slow to heal. Also, there could be an unexplained weight loss even if the person is eating more than usual.
Also, an older adult can develop complications from diabetes. These complications can range from myocardial infarction, lower-extremity amputation, visual impairment, and renal failure. In addition, a senior is more likely to end up in the emergency room because of hypoglycemia.
Treatment of Diabetes
One of the issues of diabetes for seniors is that treatment for either type requires a strict routine. With diabetes 1, the person will need to monitor blood sugar levels, sometimes up to four times daily. This is done with a pinprick blood test or a continuous glucose monitor.
Synthetic insulin is usually given by an injection pen or a syringe. Or a pump, which is about the size of a cell phone, can be fitted outside the person’s body. A catheter connecting to insulin inside the pump connects to the body. The pump will either administer a large dose of insulin when needed or small doses of insulin constantly.
Type 2 usually doesn’t need as much blood testing, but the person still needs to be carefully monitored. Some seniors may need insulin directly, while others can take insulin in a pill form. If the case is less severe, physical exercise and diet can keep diabetes under control.
Why In-home Care?
In-home care is a viable option that allows seniors to live independently but still gives family members peace of mind. Many diabetic seniors are still mentally able to function and be independent. Still, the complications of diabetes may be too much to manage on their own.
In-home care can monitor blood glucose levels and guide the senior on how to check it themselves. In addition, they can review the blood glucose logs to help the senior’s doctor make any needed adjustments to medication.
Since diabetes is controlled by insulin, a caregiver can assist with the monitoring of medication and can identify any low or high blood sugar levels. Plus, the caregiver can get assistance in an emergency situation.
Meal preparation and diet is essential part of managing blood sugar levels. However, proper meal preparation may be complex if the senior has issues with vision, mobility, budget, or transportation difficulties.
Home health providers can help a senior with menu planning. For example, they can take them grocery shopping and prepare healthy meals. The home health provider can also teach the senior how to eat healthy to manage their diabetes.
If you or a loved one need professional help managing diabetes, call Right at Home. We have professional caregivers that can help you manage your diabetes.