Diabetes is one of the most common conditions in the United States, with an estimated 34.2 million people who suffer from it based on a 2020 report. With that alarming statistic, there’s a chance your parent might have it. Diabetes can be a difficult and expensive condition to manage, especially if your parent is aging or alone. To ensure that your diabetic parent remains in good health, you might have to help them out with certain aspects of their lifestyle. For some guidance, here ways to help your parent manage diabetes.
The first thing you can do to help your parent deal with their diabetes is to educate yourself on the condition. This way, you can watch out for certain complications diabetics are at risk from and know how to properly help your loved one deal with them. Educating yourself on diabetes can also help you prevent some dangers as well.
Blood sugar levels are one of the most important things you need to monitor in a diabetic parent. For someone with diabetes, there are two ends of the spectrum that they might suffer from. There are instances where they might suffer from high blood pressure, which is known as hyperglycemia. This may indicate a few conditions: that your parent is sick, stressed out, eating too much, or doesn’t have enough insulin. Some indicators of hyperglycemia are excessive tiredness, thirstiness, going to the bathroom frequently, or blurry vision.
The other side of the spectrum that you have to look out for in your parent with diabetes is low blood sugar. This is known as hypoglycemia, and it can result from eating too little, having too much insulin in their body, or exercising too much. Some ways you can tell if your parent has low blood sugar is if they are feeling tired, having trouble speaking, sweating, looking pale, feeling lightheaded, or twitching.
An excellent way to prevent your parent from eating too much or too little is to make their meals for them. Meal prepping is the best way for someone to adopt a healthy diet. Plan out your parent’s meals for the week by cooking it all at once to ensure that they are getting enough nutrients, limiting their consumption of carbohydrates, and eating at the right time to coincide with medications.
Another important aspect of a healthy lifestyle is to get regular exercise, but you must make sure that it isn’t too rigorous. You will also want to create a schedule to align with their eating and medication schedule. It’s also good for someone with diabetes to have a little snack before exercising if they need to balance out their blood sugar levels.
The good news about helping someone out who has diabetes is that it can improve your health in the process. When you are taking care of someone, you shouldn’t forget to take care of yourself, either, and you also need to be in good health to help. To make it easier for your parent to stick to their regime, eat nutritious meals, and exercise with them. This will help you monitor their progress, but it will also give them motivation and demonstrate that they are not alone, which can greatly improve their mental health.
When someone has diabetes, there are a lot of medications they will need to keep track of as well. Help them stay organized—use a pill organizer and put the correct amount in it for each day. Insulin is a common form of medication that diabetics take regularly, and unlike pills, it has specific storage instructions. Make sure there’s a dedicated location for your loved one’s insulin, away from heat and light, and ensure that they’re getting the proper dosage. You should also set up an alarm on their smartphone for when they need to take these medications, in case they forget. Another tip is to check the expiration dates of the medication and pick up new ones if they are running low. When someone has diabetes, organization is the key to maintaining health, and you can easily set your parent up for success.
People with diabetes are known to suffer from foot problems, so this is a part of their body that you should regularly inspect. Be sure to communicate with your parent on whether their feet are hurting and give them the proper medication. If an issue persists or you notice that they are having mobility problems, then you should get them elderly foot care so they can get the proper attention from a doctor.
Diabetes comes with many responsibilities, from eating a healthy diet to getting regular exercise. To ensure that they stay healthy, you need to hold them accountable for making healthy lifestyle decisions, especially early on after a diagnosis. As we mentioned earlier, doing it with them is one way to ensure that they stick to it, but you aren’t going to be with them all of the time so the best thing you can do is make it easier for them by cooking healthy meals and making sure they are taking pills at the right time. Consistency is key, and planning ahead can make it possible.
There are going to be instances when you aren’t going to be around. If something happens, you should bring up the idea of wearing a medical ID to your parent. A medical ID can be worn comfortably as a bracelet or a necklace and makes it incredibly efficient to call for help in situations when it is necessary.
One last way to help your parent manage diabetes is to consider home care. Helping your diabetic parent can become a full-time job that might not be possible for you. With Fedelta Home Care, your parent can get the assistance and medical attention from professionals that they need with home health care.