Diabetes is a metabolism disorder that refers to the way our bodies use food for energy and growth. Most of what we eat is digested into glucose that is a form of sugar in the blood that is the main source of our body's energy. If not treated, diabetes can cause irreversible damage to almost every organ in our body.
There are several types of diabetes:
All types of diabetes are treatable, however, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes last a lifetime and there is no known cure. Many seniors with diabetes must receive regular insulin injections or oral medication to regulate the amount of sugar in their blood. If diabetes is not adequately controlled long term complications may develop such as cardiovascular disease, retinal damage, chronic kidney failure, nerve damage, poor healing of wounds, gangrene on the feet that may lead to amputation, and erectile dysfunction.
Professional caregivers can be especially helpful in helping seniors manage their blood sugar by reminding and assisting with monitoring blood glucose levels. Caregivers and family members must be familiar with monitoring glucose with a glucose meter and the precautions necessary for a successful finger stick to obtain a drop of blood for the glucose test. It is important to adhere to the doctor's instructions. Every senior with diabetes should be self-monitoring his or her blood glucose - this is especially so for people who are taking insulin.
Having nutritious meals at scheduled times, taking blood sugar readings, and recording readings are extremely important to seniors' health and well-being.
Glucose meters with codes and buttons can be difficult for seniors with arthritis to handle and see. Recording glucose levels and taking medication as prescribed is important. A family member or caregiver should assist with documentation and check to be sure testing is routinely being done and the senior is getting adequate nutritious food.
In 2004, heart disease was noted on 68% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 years or older. Seniors with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes. The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among seniors with diabetes.
At Abby Senior Care we know how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially for seniors with diabetes. Our caregivers are specially trained to detect symptoms related to low blood sugar, assist with using blood glucose meters, and tracking sugar levels. Give us a call for a no obligation home visit to discuss how home care can improve the quality of your loved one's daily life, 303-699-8840.