One of the biggest impediments to healthy ageing is diabetes. Excess sugar in the body–which is the starring feature of the disease–not only damages blood vessels and organs, but also wrecks quality of life.
Worse still, if the one who is suffering at the hands of diabetes is your parent. Taking care of a diabetic is not easy–but it is also not impossible. Here are a few measures you can take to ensure that your diabetic mother or father can manage their diabetes well.
1. Get a device for home blood sugar testing
Taking your own blood sugar reading has become a cornerstone of diabetes management. Blood sugar testing helps you maintain safe blood glucose levels and avoid the systemic damage that comes from uncontrolled diabetes. Teach them how to test their levels on their own so that they’re on top of things even when you’re away at work.
2. Ensure that they exercise
Exercising is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar levels in a controlled range. Being active and working out helps with managing weight and regaining balance–two elements that are drastically compromised among patients with diabetes.
If you can’t get your parents to get moving on their own, ensure that you take regular morning walks with them.
3. Monitor their diet
Whether you want to stave off diabetes or manage it, healthy eating is the way to go. Try to stick to things that are low in fat and salt, and high in fibre–like beans, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Also drink enough water to keep your blood sugar levels within healthy limits. In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out excess blood sugar through urine.
4. Encourage your parents to do a self check-up
Ask your parents to check their feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call the doctor right away if they notice any sores that do not go away.
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5. Keep stress at bay
When you’re stressed, your body secretes hormones like glucagon and cortisol which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Exercising and relaxation methods like yoga and mindfulness-based can help your parents control their stress.
6. Do not let them compromise on their sleep
Poor sleeping habits and a lack of rest also affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. They can increase appetite and promote weight gain. So it is important to get a sufficient amount of high-quality sleep every night.
7. Ensure that they take their medicines on time
Medication adherence is important for controlling chronic conditions, treating temporary conditions, and overall long-term health and well-being. So you need to ensure that they take their medicines regularly and at the same time every day. To make life easier, make use of a pill container.