Many elderly diabetics can manage their disease independently, however, if your loved one is unable to participate in their diabetic care because of severe diabetes complications or as a result of mobility or cognitive deficits, then they may benefit from diabetic care from a senior home health care provider. Here are some things a senior home health care provider can offer your elderly diabetic to help promote optimal health.
Glucose testing, either via a finger prick test or urine dipstick, can reveal dangerous fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Because of this, it is crucial that your elderly diabetic loved one monitor their glucose levels. Diabetics with cognitive, vision, or mobility problems may be unable to use the glucose testing monitor correctly or have the ability to use the urine test strip.
The senior home health care provider can assist with glucose monitoring, and if the results reveal either hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, also called high blood sugar, they can notify you or call the physician. To help maintain optimal blood glucose levels, the senior home health care provider can prepare nutritional diabetic-friendly meals that will not only help keep blood sugar levels in check but may also help with weight control, high blood pressure, and elevated lipid levels, all of which can contribute to diabetes complications.
Monitor Skin Condition
Diabetics are at risk for developing stasis ulcers of the lower extremities, typically caused by diminished circulation. Because diabetes can cause neuropathy and subsequent loss of feeling in the feet, your senior loved one may be unaware that they have a painful stasis ulcer on the bottom of their foot. The senior home health care provider can monitor the individual's skin for signs of redness, inflammation, open areas, and ulcers.
If any skin abnormalities are noticed, the caregiver can notify you or the primary care physician, who will recommend treatment options. The caregiver can also provide preventative measures to lower the diabetic's risk for stasis ulcers. These interventions may include keeping the feet clean and dry, massaging the lower extremities with a mild moisturizing lotion, and positioning the individual so that undue pressure is taken off bony prominences such as the heels and ankles.
If your elderly loved one has diabetes and is unable to care for themselves independently, contact a senior home health care provider to learn more. When diabetes is monitored and well-managed, the risk for complications such a diabetic neuropathy, renal disease, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems may dramatically decline.