According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 million Americans have diabetes today. Of the two types, Type 2 in which the body has difficulty producing and using insulin, is by far the most common and is most often brought on by poor eating habits, weight gain and lack of exercise. Studies have found that it has a 90 percent higher mortality rate than non-diabetics over a 5-year period. This holds true when the studies control for age, smoking, race and other factors. And when we combine diabetes with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity, the need for aggressive management to prevent complications, such as heart disease, stroke and lower-extremity amputations becomes even more urgent.
This is where a quality Home Care agency can play a large role in helping diabetics better manage their day-to-day activities, meal preparation, medication reminders and even assist with insulin injections, if needed. A trained caregiver can help the client draw up a list of healthy foods to buy while out grocery shopping, either cook the meals with those foods or help the client with meal preparation. The caregiver can also help motivate the client to get out and exercise by going with them for a brisk walk or stand-by assist if the client is doing exercises in the home. An engaged and caring home care aide can also routinely examine the lower extremities when helping the client to bath or get dressed, looking for signs of sores, abrasions or cuts. Since diabetics often lose the feeling in their feet and toes, it's essential either they or someone else closely watches the feet and lower legs for these conditions.
In-home care for elderly diabetics is especially beneficial since many of these individuals may not be able to take care of themselves adequately or do their blood sugar checks as they've been instructed to do by their physicians. A caregiver can not only do all the chore work around the house but they can also keep an eye on things such as the blood sugar checks and help provide appropriate snacks, drinks and meals. They can write down the results of the blood tests in client log books and let the responsible family members know what they are. The caregiver also makes the home care agency nurse aware of the results so that she or he can keep an eye on any developing trends in the client's blood sugar levels and alert the family or doctor's office when any concerns arise.
At AAging Better, our caregivers are well trained in how to assist with a diabetic client to achieve the best results possible in keeping them safely and effectively at home. Not every outcome will be a problem-free experience in every case but just having a knowledgeable home care aide providing encouragement, direction and assistance can go a long way toward a diabetic successfully managing their diabetes. Give us a call if you or a loved one is living with diabetes and would like to find out more about the benefits of in-home care.