There are approximately 26 million people throughout the United States who are currently living with diabetes. Of these, experts estimate that half are not aware that they have the disease and have not been diagnosed. Even among those who have been diagnosed and are aware of the condition, many do not understand the importance of proper management of this disease.
As a family caregiver it is critical to understand that diabetes is a life-changing disease and proper management is vital not just for the control of the diabetes itself, but also the consequences and complications that can occur as a result of it, such as increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and heart attack, and increased risk of infections and skin problems. You can help your parent to reduce these risks and stay healthier by encouraging compliance with their management and care approach.
Use these tips to encourage management compliance in a senior with diabetes:
Make sure that they understand the different elements of managing their diabetes and what they should be doing each day to contribute to their own care. Talk to them about it and consider setting up a time to talk to their doctor to remind them of this care plan.
Set up a schedule so that they can predict the different aspects of caring for themselves and managing their condition.
Offer reminders to your parent, such as leaving them notes throughout their home, calling them at specific times a day, or setting a timer to alert them of when they need to take medication, check their blood sugar, or otherwise comply with their guidelines.
Set them up for success with their diet by stocking their kitchen with healthy, easy to prepare foods, and working with them to cook healthy meals.
Find a physical activity that they enjoy and participate in it together. This could be walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, or any other activity that they are willing to participate in regularly and that you can do together to boost their mental and emotional health, increase their motivation, and support their ongoing pursuit of a healthy weight and a stronger heart.
Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult can be extremely challenging, particularly if you are a member of the sandwich generation caring for both your aging parent and your children, or if you live at a distance from your parent and you are not able to be with them as often as you would like.
Fortunately, if you are having difficulty managing your parent’s needs and challenges, or simply feel that they would benefit from additional care and support, home care can help. An in-home care provider can give your parent a personalized approach to care that ensures that their needs, limitations, and challenges are met in a way that is right for them, while also supporting their pursuit of a lifestyle that is active, engaged, and fulfilling.
This can ease your stress and give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus your energy and attention in the most effective ways while also managing the other aspects of your life in the bets way possible.