Helping Your Senior Parent Manage Diabetes
Seniors with diabetes have some specific concerns that other people their age don’t have to worry about. For one, they must be careful about their blood sugar levels and closely monitor what they eat. They also may need to take medication or insulin injections to keep their blood sugar in check. This can be a lot of work, but seniors with diabetes need to stay healthy. There are ways in which adult children of seniors with diabetes can assist their parents in managing this disease.
Keeping Blood Sugar Levels in Check
One of the biggest concerns for seniors with diabetes is keeping their blood sugar levels in check. This requires careful monitoring and a lot of work, but it’s important to stay healthy and avoid complications down the road. Many seniors rely on medication or insulin injections to manage their blood sugar, but some simple lifestyle changes can help.
Some things you can do to stay healthy include eating a well-balanced diet, getting adequate exercise every day, and staying active as much as possible. It’s also important to get plenty of rest and reduce stress whenever possible. And if you have any illness or injury, try to keep up with your treatment plan so your symptoms don’t worsen over time.
Overview of a Diabetes-Friendly Diet for a Senior
A diabetic-friendly diet for a senior parent or other older loved one is food that is low in sugar and carbohydrates, and high in protein and healthy fats. It can be challenging to follow at first, but with a little bit of planning, it is definitely doable. There are a few basic principles to keep in mind when creating your diabetic-friendly menu:
- Cut out sugary foods and beverages. This includes soda, fruit juice, candy, and baked goods.
- Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and rice. Instead, focus on complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Eat plenty of protein and healthy fats. This will help you feel full and satisfied without consuming unhealthy carbs. Some good protein sources include chicken, fish, beef, tofu, and eggs. Healthy fats can be found in nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocados.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can make diabetes symptoms worse, so it’s important to stay hydrated!
With these guidelines in mind, let’s take a look at some sample menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:
One piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter or one egg cooked in olive oil with spinach on the side
A salad topped with grilled chicken or fish or a veggie burger with avocado mayo
Grilled steak with roasted veggies or black bean tacos with brown rice
Foot Care Plan for a Senior With Diabetes
A foot care plan for a senior with diabetes should include regular inspections of the feet for blisters, sores, and cuts. The person should also soak their feet in warm water every day to help keep them soft and free of calluses. In addition, they should trim their toenails regularly and moisturize their feet often.
Some older people have problems tending to foot care issues due to reduced flexibility. If that is the case, you will want to consider arranging for your parent to have a regular pedicure.
In addition, it is very important for your parent to visit his or her primary care physician for regular diabetic foot consultations. Your parent ideally should have his or her feet examined by his or her doctor twice a year. If there appears to be some foot issue or problem, a prompt appointment should be made with his or her doctor.
Assisted Living for a Diabetic Senior
An available alternative for a senior with diabetes is assisted living. Residing in the assisted living community ensures that your parent with diabetes can access healthy, delicious meals. Indeed, an assisted living community can tailor special meals to meet the needs of diabetic residents.
Assisted living is also an ideal option for a senior who needs assistance with medication management. In an assisted living community, the staff ensures that a senior takes his or her necessary medications promptly and appropriately.
Support Groups and Online Resources for Seniors With Diabetes
Living with diabetes can be difficult for seniors, but it’s not impossible. There are plenty of support groups and online resources available for seniors with diabetes, and many of them are happy to share their tips for managing the condition.
It’s important to stay positive and not let diabetes get you down. With the right attitude and hard work, you can manage diabetes and lead a full and healthy life. Support groups can be invaluable in assisting a senior to have a more positive attitude about their condition.
As mentioned a moment ago, many online resources are available to help seniors with diabetes. For example, there are support groups where seniors can connect with others who are going through the same thing. In addition to getting information from others, your parent can share tips and get advice as well. The exchange of ideas can prove very helpful all around. At the end of the day, living with diabetes is possible if your parent takes care of his or her health and focuses on staying healthy. With some concentrated work and determination, your parent will be able to can manage this condition and live a long and full life. You can certainly assist your parent through your support and encouragement. This includes encouraging your parent to maintain an appropriate diet, engage in proper exercise, and take advantage of various important resources available to people from all walks of life who have a diagnosis of diabetes.