When you first learn your senior loved one has type 2 diabetes, it can be frightening and overwhelming.
Diabetes is a common health problem that affects over 28 million adults in the United States.
Various lifestyle changes and an increased risk of developing other illnesses and diseases come with a diabetes diagnosis.
To help support a family member with diabetes and improve their quality of life, they will need your help, patience, and understanding.
The Kensington Reston supports our residents with diabetes by creating individualized care plans and assisting with family and social support.
Learn more about how to support someone with diabetes, diabetes type 2 treatment guidelines, and what to do if you experience caregiver burnout.
Managing diabetes care for a loved one
Diabetic seniors need support and daily care to help them maintain their health and well-being.
To manage diabetes, you may need to help your loved one:
- Read food and medication labels
- Follow a healthy and balanced diet (such as the Mediterranean diet)
- Remind them to take medication
- Administer injections
Along with monitoring blood glucose levels, your loved one’s skin, feet, and mouth also need special care to prevent infections.
You can help your loved one keep their body clean and safe by ensuring they have good oral habits and checking their feet daily. Even something as simple as an ingrown toenail can lead to a severe infection for a person with diabetes.
Depending on your loved one’s age, need for care, and if they have other diseases, they may also need assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, cooking, and cleaning
At The Kensington Reston, our team provides these services to our residents, along with companionship and social connection.
Diabetes type 2 treatment guidelines
Talk to your family member’s healthcare provider for the best medication management and nutritional plan
It can be difficult for you and your family to accept that your loved one has diabetes and will now need increased family involvement and care.
However, speaking with a healthcare provider can offer peace of mind when you learn how easy it can be to manage diabetes with medication and proper nutrition.
A healthy and well-balanced diet can help your loved one keep their blood glucose levels in check.
Your loved one can keep their blood sugar levels by eating small meals at the same time every day, avoiding skipping meals, and drinking lots of fluids.
A healthy diet for diabetics includes:
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Lean meats
- Healthy oils like avocado oil, peanut oil, and olive oil
- Fruit (in moderation)
If diet, stress management, and exercise aren’t enough to manage your loved one’s diabetes, they may also need medication or insulin injections.
Keep a record of which medications your loved one is taking and how often they take them.
Keeping track can ensure that they don’t overdose and prevent drug interactions, as well as be helpful to healthcare professionals.
Stay organized with your type 2 diabetes care plan
Creating a routine with your loved one and staying organized can help prevent caregiver stress and burnout.
Knowing what to expect each day allows caregivers to remain calm rather than rushed and stressed when caring for their family members.
Use a calendar to keep track of:
- Eating (yours and your loved one’s)
- Hygiene (again, both you and your loved one)
- Medication schedule
- Doctor appointments
- Your time off for self-care
- Your loved one’s diabetes self-care activities
- Any upcoming events or activities
To save time and stress in the case of an emergency, create an emergency folder.
This folder should include your loved one’s personal information and identification, a list of medications they take, essential phone numbers, insurance information, and medical power of attorney documents.
A daily routine and emergency folder can also help other family members or caregivers safely care for your loved one when you take time off.
Avoid feeling overwhelmed with caregiver burnout
Often, caregivers neglect their own needs as they put all their time and energy into caring for their loved ones.
Managing one’s own life while caring for another is a huge responsibility and task that can become exhausting.
The best thing a caregiver can do to promote their mental, emotional, and physical health is to make time for self-care and put together a support team. Without a support team, caregiving can be a lonely and depressing journey.
If your loved one’s care needs are increasing, or you’re struggling to maintain your health—reaching out for help is necessary. Whether that help comes from other family support or other supportive relationships.
Caregiver burnout can lead to anxiety, depression, irritability, hopelessness, and a weakened immune system.
Activities to help avoid burnout include:
- Joining a club
- Learning a new hobby
- Grabbing coffee with a friend
- Listening to music
- Going to the movies
- Taking a warm bath
- Going for a walk
How to help a diabetic by knowing when to ask for help
When you have no time for self-care, or self-care isn’t enough to help you mentally, emotionally, and physically—it’s time to ask for help.
With The Kensington nurses, rehabilitation services, and a compassionate team on their side, your loved one can live a high quality of life and receive the care they need, no matter how their condition progresses.
Some caregivers may feel guilty for transitioning their loved one to a senior living community, but it’s almost always the best choice. Include your loved one in the conversation and help them feel comfortable with the transition.
The Kensington Reston can meet the needs of your loved one and you can once again focus on your bond rather than caregiving services.
The Kensington Reston—your partners in care
Our Promise at The Kensington Reston is to love and care for your family as we do our own.
We know that your loved one’s type 2 diabetes can be managed with the right level of experienced care and support.
The Kensington Reston offers essential amenities and services to help your loved one truly age in place, safely, and comfortably.
When your loved one joins our community, they receive:
- Around-the-clock care
- Licensed on-site nurses
- Physician office on-site
- Life-enrichment activities
- Exquisite dining services
- Speciality diets
- A cozy suite
- Medication administration
- Pain management
- Rehabilitation services
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Fitness center on-site
- Alzheimer’s care
- Dementia care
- Parkinson’s disease care
- Neurologic and stroke recovery
Enjoy Kensington Konnect if you’re interested in informative, entertaining, and fun resources such as virtual support groups for caregivers.