Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death among older adults. The good news is that the disease is treatable with an excellent care plan and determination. Seniors need to overcome bad eating habits, poor sleeping patterns, inactivity, and other challenges to prevent glucose spikes. Below are some of the ways family caregivers can help their aging parents maintain healthy blood sugar.
Stressful situations can cause insulin levels to drop and stress hormone levels to rise. As a result, it’s difficult for insulin to work correctly, and blood sugar goes up. To handle stress better, your loved one should avoid people and situations that increase the production of cortisol and other stress hormones. Help your loved one out during the week with various tasks, such as managing medications, preparing meals, cleaning, cooking, and budgeting. Having your assistance can lower your loved one’s stress levels and help him or her maintain healthy blood sugar.
Develop Nutritious Eating Habits
Eating foods full of sugar and cholesterol can raise blood sugar and increase the risk of neuropathy, vision loss, and heart disease. A healthy meal will contain adequate portions of non-starchy vegetables, lean meats, and grains. In addition to eating healthy foods, your loved one should avoid drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages that contain carbohydrates, which raise glucose levels. Skipping meals can harm your loved one’s physical and mental health and cause a significant spike in his or her blood sugar. Plan your loved one’s meals in advance so preparing them is less time-consuming. Meal planning should include the types of food your loved one will eat along with portion sizes, times, and locations.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help preparing nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Stay Physically Active
Being active can boost energy levels, make the heart beat faster, and cause the muscles to use more glucose. Regular movement and physical activities lower blood sugar over time, help insulin work better, and reduce the risk of nerve damage, diabetic retinopathy, kidney failure, and cardiovascular disease.
If your loved one needs encouragement to adopt healthier habits, a professional caregiver can be an ideal source of support. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Tucson families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Visit the Doctor Regularly
In addition to monitoring blood sugar levels and implementing the strategies mentioned above, your loved one should visit his or her primary physician regularly. During these appointments, the doctor can conduct tests to measure your parent’s blood sugar and develop an effective treatment plan to reduce high blood sugar levels. Early detection is often the best way to stave off more severe problems for aging adults. The doctor can also change treatment plans, recommending different diets or medication options to control your loved one’s glucose levels.
Helping a loved one maintain healthy blood sugar levels and prevent or manage diabetes can be challenging. In Tucson, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555 to learn more about our customized care plans.