Caring for an Elderly Guest with Diabetes
- 09 Jul 2019
Are you expecting a visit from a relative with diabetes? Or perhaps you are going to their home for a time? Being responsible for an elder with diabetes can be daunting and challenging, but by readying yourself and being prepared there’s absolutely no reason why everything wouldn’t be fine! Here’s a little of what you need to know about the condition and some tips that will help you give the best support possible. Just relax and keep these points in mind… And remember, always check with a medical professional in times of uncertainty.
First, what is diabetes?
In (extremely) short, it’s a serious condition that occurs when people’s blood sugar is too high. Although there are many diabetes-related health problems such as increased risk of stroke and heart disease, it is manageable with the right care. Type 1 Diabetes refers to that which develops early in life, whereas Type 2 Diabetes mainly affects many older adults as it develops later in life.
Monitoring blood glucose
This is something that needs to be measured frequently by those living with diabetes to ensure it stays at a healthy level. And there are all kinds of devices and meters to do this. Familiarize yourself with the model being used by your guest… Be sure to quiz their usual caretaker about the procedure (if they won’t also be staying with you and you’ll need to carry out this task… If they are staying with you, there’s no need to worry).
Insulin is the medication diabetics use daily. And it’s crucial that they receive it at specific times. Generally, this is done through injection. If you need to administer these, make sure you’re clear on how it’s done and the exact timings. Also, it would be more comfortable for your guest if this is done in privacy, so please keep that in mind.
Getting the right food
If you’re playing host, you ideally would like everyone to be able to eat the same things… Why? Well, not only does this make your life easier (nothing wrong with that!) but it’s also more polite to your guest who may feel a little self-conscious if they were the only person eating differently. So, find out what they can and can’t eat before you plan meals and go shopping. Generally, this will mean steering clear of sugar, fizzy drinks, and white carbohydrates… A great opportunity to get the family eating healthier!