It’s natural for a parent to tell their child they are fine when asked about their health. Many parents don’t want to worry their children and wish to always appear strong for them. In some cases, this continues even into old age when their children are adults. Because of this, it’s important that adult children who are caregivers for their elderly parent know how to look for signs of illness. If your parent has diabetes, it’s especially important for you to know what the signs of the disease not being under control are. Below are some things to look for that may indicate your aging parent is having trouble managing their diabetes care.
Increased Thirst and Urination
When blood sugar is high, the kidneys work harder to try to flush the excess glucose from the body. This means they draw fluids from body tissues to produce urine to remove the glucose. As a result, the older adult will need to urinate more often. Because the body is using more fluid to produce urine, the senior will also feel more thirsty than usual.
Sugar is a source of energy for the body. When the body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t respond properly to insulin, it cannot take sugar into the cells to produce energy. Without fuel, the older adult may feel tired, even to the point of needing to nap.
Numbness or Tingling
When blood sugar isn’t controlled it can damage nerves. This can cause numbness and tingling, especially in the hands and feet. This symptom is called peripheral neuropathy. People with peripheral neuropathy may have cuts or blisters on their feet that don’t heal well and can lead to serious infections or even amputation.
If diabetes damages the nerve that helps the stomach to empty properly, it can lead to digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, heartburn, and feeling full right after starting to eat. This symptom is called gastroparesis. Unfortunately, gastroparesis can also make it more difficult for an older adult to control blood sugar.
Elder care can assist with the management of diabetes in older adults. An elder care provider can remind your parent when it is time for them to test their blood sugar or take medication. Elder care providers can also prepare healthy meals and snacks that help to lower blood sugar. And, if your parent needs to see the doctor to monitor their condition, an elder care provider can drive them to the doctor’s office, so they never have to miss an appointment.
If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Manalapan, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care today. Call (732) 607-8870.
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