Care for Diabetes

When a senior you love has diabetes, having a trained Amada caregiver can support their efforts to manage symptoms and avoid hypoglycemia.

It’s not surprising that families often feel helpless when their senior loved ones are diagnosed with diabetes. A diagnosis can be scary, because it is a chronic disease that may lead to complications. Without proper medical care and lifestyle changes, diabetes can lead to conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, kidney disease, hypertension and others. Treating geriatric diabetes (when a patient age 65 or older) has additional challenges, so it’s no wonder families can quickly become overwhelmed with caregiving tasks.

Having support from an Amada caregiver trained in non-medical interventions can provide an extra level of vigilance to help seniors self-manage their diabetes symptoms and avoid a hypoglycemic crisis. There’s no cure for diabetes, but its impact can be lessened when patients follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, take their medications, and keep appointments with their healthcare team.

Because of their training, Amada caregivers:

• Know to remind senior patients to take insulin and self-check their blood glucose level on the schedule prescribed by their doctor so they can avoid a hypoglycemic crisis.

• Encourage seniors to pursue activities such as walking, gardening and exercising, as well as hobbies that might ease stress, which can affect blood sugar levels.

• Remind seniors with diabetic neuropathy that it’s important to self-check their skin and mouth health and keep good grooming habits.

• Take the initiative to inform family members if they see signs of diabetes-related cognitive decline (confusion, forgetfulness, depression) in their senior clients.

• Promote foot care by encouraging the diabetic senior to wear closed-toe shoes or slippers with cushioned soles and to avoid sandals and going barefoot.

• Understand how important it is for the senior patient to follow the meal plan created by the health care team, avoid skipping food at mealtimes and drink lots of water along with caffeine- and sugar-free drinks.