Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Managing Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that can be very dangerous if not properly managed; however, by taking the right steps, you can help your elderly loved one maintain control over diabetes. When managing diabetes, there are three areas of concern that should be addressed: diet, exercise, and medication.
  • Diet: Diabetes occurs when an individual experiences a higher than average blood sugar level. The goal in managing diabetes, then, is to keep blood sugar levels, or blood glucose levels, within a healthy range. A large part of this task is a healthy diet.
    • Consult with a doctor to determine a meal plan for your elderly loved one. Based upon the severity of their condition, as well as any other medical issues, the doctor will be able to recommend which foods to avoid and which to add to their diet. Typically, foods that are high in sugar will need to be avoided. Additionally, the doctor may suggest steering clear of simple carbohydrates and fats.
    • Maintain a regular routine. To keep their blood sugar levels balanced, ensure that your elderly loved one is eating regularly, not just one or two times per day.
  • Exercise: Being active allows the body to utilize blood sugar and keep blood glucose levels down. It also increases the sensitivity of the body to insulin, the hormone that turns glucose into energy.
    • Discuss a regular exercise plan for your elderly loved one with their doctor. The more challenging this plan is the better, but even light to moderate activity can help manage diabetes.
  • Medication: Your elderly loved one's doctor may prescribe medication to help keep their diabetes under control. Learn more about this medication, including when and how it should be administered, and help your elderly loved one remember to take it. If they are starting a new medication, help monitor their blood sugar levels to ensure that the dosage and timing are correct.
Helping your elderly loved one manage diabetes can be a challenge, but senior care providers can help by reinforcing the importance of appropriate diet, exercise, and medication administration on a daily basis. Although diabetes may be a dangerous condition, it can be managed with the proper level of care.

No comments:

Post a Comment