Diabetes is a complicated disease. It requires a balance of food, medication, and lifestyle to ensure blood sugar levels remain in the targeted range. That can be a lot for family caregivers to take on in addition to the rest of the responsibilities in their lives, like work and children. Because of the demands of the disease, it can be especially useful for families to enlist the services of elder care. Elder care can offer non-medical disease management that can make a big difference in keeping your aging relative diabetes healthy.
Below are some of the things that an elder care provider can do to assist older adults with diabetes.
Balanced, Healthy Meals
Eating a good diet is important for everyone, but for diabetics, it’s even more crucial. Knowing how foods affect blood sugar and what it means to create a balanced meal can take some work. Elder care providers can help to plan and prepare meals that meet the guidelines set by the doctor and dietitian. Some of the aspects of creating a good diet for a diabetic senior include:
- Balancing carbohydrates against other foods to prevent spikes in blood sugar.
- Knowing what constitutes a proper portion size.
- Preparing meals that include all of the necessary nutrients through a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins.
- Avoiding certain foods, like sugary drinks.
Increased Physical Activity
Exercise helps to use up blood sugar to create energy for the body. Therefore, exercising helps to keep blood sugar at an appropriate level. If your older family member isn’t getting enough exercise, an elder care provider can help them to move around more. An elder care provider can involve them in activities at home that involve moving, such as playing an active video game, dancing in the living room, or going for a walk. If the senior is interested in joining an exercise class, a caregiver can drive them to the class and pick them up afterward.
Taking medications at the appropriate times and checking blood sugar is another aspect of managing diabetes that can sometimes be difficult for seniors. It’s important to note that an elder care provider cannot give your aging relative their medication. However, they can remind the older adult to check their blood sugar and take medications. This can mean not missing doses, which can result in high blood sugar levels. The elder care provider can also stand by to ensure the senior is taking the right medicines and in the appropriate doses.