Tips to Keep Diabetic Seniors on Track
Diabetes is a serious medical condition and, as a senior adult, keeping your blood sugar levels within range can be challenging. After all, there are many factors that can cause a change in your blood sugar, sometimes unexpectedly. However, you can stay on track with your diabetes management plan with the support of your team of healthcare professionals.
If you or your loved one has diabetes or other medical conditions, you may benefit from specialized care for diabetes from Gentle Shepherd Home Care. Our highly skilled, compassionate caregivers offer a variety of in-home senior care services including medical care, companionship, assistance with activities of daily living, and more.
In this article, we’ll offer several tips to help seniors keep their diabetes under control.
24 Tips to Manage Diabetes
There are many factors that can impact your blood sugar levels. When you know and understand these factors, you’ll find that it’s easier to manage.
One of the cornerstones of healthy living is a healthy diet. However, when you have diabetes, you should know that certain foods can impact your blood sugar levels. It’s not just what you eat, but how much and the combination of those foods. Here’s what you can do:
- Learn more about counting carbohydrates and proper portion sizes
- Make sure meals are well-balanced
- Coordinate meals and medications
- Avoid sugary beverages
Another important part of a healthy lifestyle, as well as diabetes management, is physical activity. Your body uses glucose for energy when you are exercising. In addition, physical activity helps your body process insulin more efficiently. Here’s what you can do:
- Work with your medical provider to establish an exercise plan
- Keep a workout schedule
- Know your numbers- and check blood sugar levels regularly
- Drink plenty of water
- Keep a snack or glucose tablets close by when working out in case your blood sugar drops too low
- Make adjustments to your diabetes management plan as needed
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your medical provider may prescribe medications to help manage your diabetes. However, the effectiveness depends on the timing and dosage. In addition, it’s important to note that medications for conditions besides diabetes may impact blood sugar. Here’s what to do:
- Make sure you store your insulin properly
- Report side effects and other issues to your medical provider
- Be careful with new medications
When you are ill, your body produces hormones to fight the illness. These hormones may have an impact on your blood sugar levels. In addition, changes in your diet and physical activity may make it harder to manage your diabetes. Here’s what you can do:
- Make a plan for when you do get sick
- Don’t stop taking your diabetes medications
- Stick to your diet as much as possible
When your blood sugar levels start dropping, your liver will release stored sugar to bring it back up. However, if your liver is metabolizing alcohol, it won’t be able to release the necessary sugar. Alcohol can have an impact on your blood sugar levels shortly after consumption and for up to 24 hours after. Here’s what you can do:
- Discuss alcohol consumption with your medical provider
- Do not drink on an empty stomach
- Choose drinks carefully
- Tally daily caloric intake, including calories from alcoholic drinks
- Check blood sugar before going to bed
When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol, which can cause blood sugar levels to increase. In addition, stress can make it more challenging to follow your diabetes management plan. Here’s what you can do:
- Watch for patterns in your stress and blood sugar levels
- Learn ways to control your stress levels
- Ask for help coping with stress
Let Gentle Shepherd Home Care Help
Seniors often find it more challenging to manage diabetes due to other medical conditions and limitations that develop. However, by knowing what impacts blood sugar levels, you can learn to anticipate changes and take action when needed. If you’re still struggling, talk with your medical care provider for help.
If you are in or near Colorado Springs and you need in-home senior care, let the caregivers from Gentle Shepherd Home Care help. Our team has the experience and expertise to help with the management of diabetes as well as other medical conditions.