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What to Do if Your Aging Parent Develops Diabetes

Diabetes can raise your senior loved one’s risk of 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 prescribed 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 homecare services. 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’re 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. For this reason, 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 help your loved one stave off depression and maintain 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. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Anchorage, Alaska, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

Watch for Abnormal Symptoms

Early diabetes can cause symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). 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, light-headedness, 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. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Anchorage families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Call Home Care Assistance at (907) 770-0907 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.