Keeping your senior loved one’s blood sugar within the targets recommended by his or her primary care physician is essential for good health and staving off heart disease, diabetes, kidney problems, vision loss, and various long-term conditions. It can also enhance your parent’s mood and energy levels. Below are tips to use when helping your loved one maintain healthy blood sugar.
Serve Nutritious Meals & Snacks
The foods seniors consume can raise or lower their blood sugar and put them at risk for obesity, poor circulation, and different diseases. However, following a healthy diet could lead to healthier blood sugar and help with weight management. One dietary lifestyle change to make is consuming fewer bad carbohydrates and adding more good carbs to meals and snacks. Increasing fiber intake can also control blood glucose levels. These foods will pass through the digestive system with fewer challenges and stave off large spikes in blood sugar. Other healthy eating tips include counting calories, reducing salt intake, eating more vegetables, and controlling portion sizes.
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 elderly home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Too much alcohol can cause blood sugar to drop significantly, and moderate drinking can make blood sugar rise. Therefore, your loved one should avoid drinking altogether. If your loved one does continue to drink, he or she should never do so on an empty stomach. Drinking alcohol without eating a proper meal can cause blood sugar to drop and lead to problems like slurred speech, poor vision, and dizziness, which are often mistaken for drunkenness. Rather than consuming beer and liquor, your loved one should opt for red wine instead but limit his or her intake.
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 elder care. Fort Myers 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.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Regularly
To support your loved one’s health, blood sugar must be monitored and measured. Failing to monitor blood glucose levels can lead to different challenges and even more severe consequences, such as hospitalization. You can use various at-home devices to check your parent’s blood sugar in addition to annual testing by his or her primary care physician. In some cases, medications your loved one takes could cause his or her blood glucose levels to rise, and the doctor will need to make changes that help with blood sugar management without impacting other conditions. Even if you find out your loved one’s body reacts differently to medications, you should never make medical decisions without contacting your loved one’s doctor first.
Encourage Plenty of Rest
Your parent’s sleeping patterns can significantly affect his or her blood glucose levels and boost his or her overall wellbeing. Getting plenty of rest can lower stress levels, boost immune function, and decrease blood pressure. Keep in mind that even one night of sleep deprivation can increase insulin resistance for older adults. As a result, blood sugar levels can increase. With plenty of rest, your parent’s body will promote healthy systems and lower unhealthy blood sugar. Adequate sleep can also enhance his or her physical health and mood and provide good memory consolidation, alertness, and more.
Helping a loved one maintain healthy blood sugar levels and prevent or manage diabetes can be challenging. In Fort Myers, 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 (239) 449-4701 to learn more about our customized care plans.