If you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is living with diabetes, one of the recommendations you have likely gotten from their doctor is to help your senior reduce sugar in their diet. This may seem straightforward at first, but then you realize how much more extensive and complex it can actually be. Taking on this transition carefully and working together can make it easier and less stressful for your parent to cut out the sugar in their diet and manage their diabetes with more confidence.
Use these tips to help your senior reduce sugar in their diet:
- Learn to read nutrition labels carefully. Being able to identify serving sizes, sugars, and hidden sources of sugars is essential to properly managing sugar
- Ask their doctor about the impact of all forms of sugar, including honey, agave, and artificial sweeteners. Fully understanding these will help your parent make good choices about their diet
- Encourage the move from processed, packaged foods to eating whole foods prepared at home. This allows you to effectively control the nutrition in the food and is often money-saving
- Eliminate sugary beverages. This is often one of the worst culprits for excess sugar in the average diet and is not necessary. Sugary beverages such as soda, alcohol, juice, and fruit-flavored beverages all contain high amounts of sugars and calories, and are frequently considered “invisible”, meaning your parent likely doesn’t even realize they are consuming the sugar. Replace these with water for tremendous impact, quickly
- Avoid refined grains, which are often high in sugar. Instead of snacking on things like crackers, bread, and cookies, encourage your parent to eat raw vegetables and hummus, peanut butter, or cheese
Going to the grocery store might not seem like a valuable task to you, rather something you have to do, but your senior may see it differently. Shopping for their own groceries is a show of independence and control over their own life. Not being able to do it because of no longer driving and having to rely completely on you can be upsetting and frustrating for your senior. Instead, let elder care help them. An elderly home care services provider can provide safe and reliable transportation so your loved one can get to the grocery store when they want to rather than having to wait for you. They can then assist your parent in selecting their groceries so your parent can choose what they want and need. This helps your aging loved one to maintain a stronger sense of autonomy and enjoy more mental stimulation and activity as they age in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Middleburg, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.