Diabetes is a long-term illness that happens when a person’s body can no longer make insulin or can’t use it the way it should. When this happens, too much sugar stays in the bloodstream, that with time can cause serious damage to the kidneys, heart and even your parent’s vision. If your parent has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you might be investigating how you can ensure that he stays as healthy as he can with this new diagnosis.
With determination and the help of you and your home health care professional, your parent will be able to live comfortably and thrive even with his diagnosis, but he may need to make some changes to his habits.
Watch what he eats.
Managing your parent’s blood sugar levels is an important part of keeping him healthy. The best way to manage his blood sugar level is for him to eat well. There will be items your parent may want to add into his diet and those he’ll need to look at reducing greatly or eliminating all together. One the best ways to manage what he eats is to meal plan before his weekly grocery store trip. Having your home health care provider help him create a list of healthy foods and plan how to incorporate them into meals for the week will provide him with the information he needs while he shops.
Help him get active.
Exercise will help his body stay regulated and will give strength to all parts of his body. If your parent isn’t physically active now, check with his physician to see what type of activity plan is best for him. Whether it’s an indoor strength training program or an outdoor cardiovascular activity (or a nice mix of both), your home health care provider can provide guidance and assistance to make sure he stays on the new exercise program. Your parent will not only manage his diabetes this way but will also receive plenty of other wonderful health benefits.
Manage his blood sugar levels.
In order to stay on top of where his blood sugar levels are at, your parent is going to need to find a way to track his blood sugar levels. He may use a blood sugar meter, where he will prick his finger and use a little bit of blood to track his numbers. His doctor will tell him how often he should check, but a common pattern for checking sugar levels is once when he wakes up, then before and after each meal, as well as before bedtime. If his blood sugar is too low, the doctor will have a variety of recommendations he can take to bring his levels back up to normal. Having a home health care provider assist your parent in the beginning will help him be at ease with this new process.
Don’t miss any labs or doctor appointments.
Keep a calendar ready for your parent’s important appointments. If your parent is unable to drive, having his home health care provider bring him to and from the appointment will help ensure he gets there.
It’ll be a learning process and all new habits take awhile before they truly take hold in someone’s life. Be patient with your parent if some of these changes are huge to him. With time, he’ll adapt to the new way of living and you’ll rest easy that his diabetes is under control and managed.