The American Diabetes Association states approximately 1 out of every 4 adults over the age of 64 have diabetes. Was your dad diagnosed with diabetes? Your first concern is likely how will his care needs change now. Here’s a little insight into what he needs to be doing.
Make Sure He’s Taking His Medications
If your dad was prescribed diabetes medications, cholesterol medications, or insulin, make sure he takes them properly. You may need to set up medication reminders to ensure this happens. He should also be testing his blood sugars with a glucose monitor throughout the day.
Improve Your Dad’s Diet
Diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin as foods break down into glucose. Glucose is necessary for creating energy. If insulin is not doing its job, glucose isn’t converted to energy. Instead, the glucose remains in the bloodstream and affects your dad’s health.
To avoid the rush of glucose, your dad needs to eat smaller meals more frequently during the day and night. Eating a small meal or snack every couple of hours is ideal. He should also look at foods that convert to glucose more slowly, such as high fiber foods, non-starchy vegetables, and lean proteins. A good rule of thumb for main meals is to have vegetables fill half a plate, lean meats fill a quarter of a plate, and grains cover the remaining quarter.
If your dad doesn’t like to cook, you should consult with a home care agency. You may need a caregiver who can prepare a healthy diet to come to your dad’s home. Processed meals and fast food options are not a great option if your dad is diabetic.
Make Sure He Exercises Each Day
Your dad does need daily exercise. A brisk walk around his block a few times a day is a good start. If he struggles with mobility, a caregiver can help him get out and about. If that’s not possible, time spent in a swimming pool or doing chair exercises is a good alternative. Yoga and Tai Chi are suitable exercises that also help with stability and muscle tone. You may need a caregiver to make sure he has a ride to a local pool or to a senior center for fitness programs.
Call a home care agency to create a schedule throughout the week. Caregivers can help your dad eat properly and exercise each day. A home care professional can also remind your dad when it’s time to take his medications or check his glucose levels. This gives you peace of mind and helps him maintain healthy glucose levels.
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