We Stand Greater Than Diabetes

November is American Diabetes Month. As declared by the American Diabetes Association, this year’s theme is “We Stand Greater Than Diabetes.” The association chose this theme to highlight that when we stand together to support the research efforts, legislation, and a healthy lifestyle, we can be greater than the threat of diabetes.

There are three main types of diabetes: Gestational, Type I, and Type II. Type I and II are the most common. Most of the time, patients can successfully manage their diabetes, no matter which kind. Managing this condition can be done through diet and exercise, and in some cases (always, in the case of Type I), medication.

But what is the difference between Type I diabetes and Type II diabetes?

  • Type I Diabetes: With this type, the body doesn’t produce insulin at all. This type cannot be prevented but can be addressed with medication and insulin therapy. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help manage Type I as well.
  • Type II Diabetes: Though Type II is preventable, it is the most common type. It often occurs in aging adults. Someone who has Type II diabetes can produce insulin, but their body doesn’t use it properly. One can manage this type successfully with diet and exercise, but in some cases does require medication.

While there’s no cure for diabetes, managing the disease can ensure most people diagnosed will live long, healthy lives. However, complications from the disease can arise if it is not taken care of properly. If left unchecked, this disease can lead to underlying conditions that cause further complications and stress on the body.

Some of these complications are seen frequently in older adults and can require regular medical attention and care.

When diabetes is not managed appropriately, neuropathy (a condition affecting the nerves that can cause a loss of feeling and weakness in the area affected) and poor circulation can occur. This can quickly lead to diabetic wounds and ulcers, often seen on the feet and lower extremities. Not only that, but uncontrolled diabetes can cause other, severe conditions. Examples are heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, issues with vision, and some skin conditions. And of course, some of these can require frequent hospitalizations and multiple new medications.

If you have diabetes, there are things you can do to prevent further complications.

 You must keep track of any prescribed medications or insulin therapies. Ensure you’re tracking your blood sugar regularly, if necessary. And of course, maintain a healthy diet and get as much exercise as possible. If your diabetes has already caused complications, it might be a good idea to reach out to an in-home care company that can help you manage a healthier lifestyle. Having caregivers in your home can help ensure that you’re following a proper diet, can help with medication reminders, and, in some cases, medication management. You can also have the peace of mind of having oversight to address any further complications that might emerge.

If you’re an aging adult with diabetes or know someone who could use assistance managing the disease process, reach out to us today. Our professional and trained caregivers can help.

5 Easy Ways to Manage Your Parents Medication

When you have an older parent or relative who lives (or spends time) alone, medication management can be a big worry. You are likely concerned that your loved one takes their medication as scheduled, in the correct amount, and without accidentally taking a double dose. You may also worry that prescriptions are not being refilled. Here are some expert senior care tips to help banish your medication concerns as a caregiver.

Medication Management Tips for Seniors

  1. Make a list: Note dosage, time to be taken, whether food is required or empty stomach, and the purpose of the medication. Put in a central location (on the fridge, for example) for reference by you, other caregivers and your elderly loved one. Also list vitamins and supplements below the main list. (Supplements can interact with Rx medications, so make sure the doctor has ok’d all supplements.) 
  2. Use one pharmacy: This way, you can avoid any double-fills and order all refills conveniently from the same store. Also, the pharmacist may proactively notify you of any potential drug interactions if she/he fills all of your prescriptions. Don’t depend upon that, however. Always ask questions about any medication issue, or call the doctor. Grab the master list (see above) and take with you to the pharmacy and doctor appointments, so experts can double check appropriateness and drug interactions. 
  3. Get a daily pillbox: This helps your senior to recall whether they’ve already taken their meds for the day. Make sure the box can be easily opened by your senior, but not so easily that all the pills end up on the floor. Keep pill bottles. 
  4. Be sure meds are properly stored: Bathrooms can be humid–and medications often require a cool, dry storage spot or even refrigeration. Store away from children and pets, if any. 
  5. Double check if refills look different: Your pharmacy may simply be using a different manufacturer (for generics), but there’s a chance the prescription may have been filled with the wrong dosage or medication.

Get Help with Medication Management in Omaha

As a full service senior care organization, A Place at Home has RNs on staff, who can manage your parent’s medications. If you need additional assistance with other senior wellbeing concerns, we can design a program of elder care services to fit your needs. For expert advice and compassionate assistance with senior care issues, including medication management, contact A Place at Home today.