Caring for an elderly person requires compassion, dedication, patience and understanding. With the elderly loved one being ones parent, care and all other emotional factors double up into looking after their medical condition in order to make them better. Though, dealing with a diabetic elderly parent can be quite challenging and difficult as there are other conditions associated with aging and diabetes such as chronic pains, falls, depression and other common illnesses.
It is crucial to keep an eye on an elderly loved ones diabetic condition timely, because the changes and progress takes longer time to show as older bodies cannot adjust rapidly to new diets, new medications and exercises. Though weight loss and a decrease in the blood glucose levels is a major health gain, but in the case of an elderly parent, such a change might suddenly place them in danger as their bodies are not rapidly susceptible to a drastic change in a short time.
If your parent is a diabetic or has been recently diagnosed with it, you need not worry as it’s not that hard to help them manage their diabetes and monitor their blood glucose levels timely on their glucometers. Before you begin diabetes management for them, a conversation explaining them about diabetes and how to control diabetes is necessary.
Here are some useful tips to help parents manage their diabetes and keep away from its complications
1. Educate them :
one of the best things you can do to help your parents under diabetes and it’s management better is by learning everything about diabetes yourself and under stand the diabetes diet and how to take the right measures to monitor the blood glucose levels, timely. How to use the glucometer Use smartphone glucometers for advance options by connecting and syncing their regular glucometers to it.
2. Doctor visits :
accompany your parent on their diabetes doctor appointments as you will get a better understanding of their progress or a change in their medication and diabetes diet.
3. Know the spikes :
understand the signs of high & low blood sugar levels and what causes such sudden spike in your parent who has diabetes. You can notice a change when their mood seems off or irritable, that is when you understand better if they need to eat, rest or take their medication.
4. Parent’s self-care :
helping your parent understand self-care is most important while managing their diabetes. Time’s when you are away, your parent should understand the requirement of their body and condition, be well equipped with self monitoring their blood glucose levels and understand what to do in emergencies.
5. Healthy diet :
help them understand to eat better, a diet for diabetes consists of low sugar foods and saturated fats, more fresh vegetables and less sugary fruits and carbs, a fistfull of protein and generous amount of grains.
6. Keep them active :
take a walk with them every day for about 20-30 minutes and talk about all things positive in life, this will get their cardio in and make them feel better and distracted if they are feeling low. In addition to walking, you can also sign them up for yoga classes or swimming classes after a brief talk with their diabetes doctor who will explain the precautions to be taken before, during and after any form of exercise they choose to participate in.
7. Check glucose regularly :
teach them how to monitor their glucose levels with the help of a glucometer and the intervals at which they need to check their glucose levels. Educate them on the symptoms of hypoglycemia which are mainly huner pangs, dizziness, confusion and sweating.
8. Check their feet :
keep a check on their feet every day for signs of any cut or infection. Call their diabetes doctor immediately if you notice red patches or a deep cut which did not heal within a couple hours. Make them understand to keep their feet clean, wear comfortable shoes to avoid blisters, use lotion to avoid dryness, etc.
Apart from these useful tips listed above, check their blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly and get them vaccinated every year, take them for a hearing test and for a dental visit. Taking care of a diabetic parent might get a little difficult but it is definitely not unmanageable when you both work together, towards getteing your parent better.