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What is Diabetes?

November was proclaimed “Diabetes Awareness Month” in order to spread awareness and knowledge about the different types of Diabetes and their risks. Let us now learn to understand the signs and symptoms of Diabetes and become aware of treatments available for those who have the condition.

 

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose/blood sugar, is excessively elevated. Blood glucose is your core source of energy and derives from the food you eat. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that converts glucose from food into energy. In some cases, your body does not make sufficient amounts of insulin or does not use insulin well. Glucose then remains in your blood and is unable to reach your cells.

 

Types of Diabetes

 

The three main types of Diabetes:

  • Type 1 – Over one million Americans suffer from Type 1 Diabetes, and several thousand more are predicted to be diagnosed within the next year. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when an individual’s blood sugar is extremely high. Often their immune system fails, attacks, and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce the body’s insulin. This form of diabetes can be developed in people of any age, or size.

 

  • Type 2– The most common form of Diabetes is Type 2. Over 30 million In the USA alone are estimated to have it. With this type of diabetes, the person’s body does not use insulin properly. This type of Diabetes is more common after the age of 45, though it is still possible for younger ones to develop Type 2 Diabetes.

 

  • Gestational Diabetes (GDM)– This type of diabetes develops in pregnant women who did not previously have Diabetes and can often be controlled by diet and exercise. If not controlled, this can lead to a high chance of complications for both mother and child. GDM usually goes away in time after birth but women affected are at heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

 

Signs and Symptoms

 

The signs of diabetes are not always obviously recognized as signs and can also be confused with other conditions. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts and bruises are slow to heal
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Tingling, or numbness in hands and feet

 

If you or a loved one have concerns that you may be experiencing some of these symptoms, it may be time to look into getting tested for Diabetes.

 

Treatment Options

 

Treatment:

  • If you have been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, a doctor may advise you to monitor your blood sugar regularly, take insulin, eat healthily, and exercise consistently.

 

  • If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, a doctor will assess whether you need medications to treat it, in addition to adjusting your diet, increasing your exercise, and making other needed lifestyle changes.

 

  • If you’ve been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, your doctor will discuss the best foods for you to eat, an exercise routine that is safe for you and your unborn child, and an insulin regimen, if needed.

 

 

If you’d like to learn more about caregiver resources or need assistance caring for a family member or friend, complete the form on our Contact Page.

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Home Care Services Over Nursing Home Placement

It is normal to experience a level of stress as your parents begin to age. Their health condition worsens, their bodies grow weaker and their memory may begin to fade. They become more susceptible to accidents and injuries. At some point, searching for senior care options becomes necessary. As a capable son or daughter who deeply loves their parents, you might want to deal with the issue yourself. However, it may not be practical or possible for you to do so. What can you do to see to it your aging parents receive the care they need?

Oftentimes, families facing these circumstances have felt that they had no other choice but to place their loved ones in a nursing home facility. While this option may be appropriate for some, many of those placed in nursing homes could thrive and find life more fulfilling in a non-institutionalized environment. Many older ones currently living in large congregated settings feel threatened and are in fear of succumbing to sickness, neglect or attack of one form or another. Others simply long to enjoy the opportunity to engage the company of younger individuals outside of their diminishing age group. In addition, family members influential in placing older relatives in facilities often feel shame in having had to make such a decision. They also wonder about whether or not their loved ones are being well taken care of in an environment that may be more restrictive.

For these and many other reasons more and more people have strongly considered the advantages of arranging for their loved ones to receive home care over nursing home placement.

Many older ones have lived in their homes for many years and cannot envision relocating. Some have stated, “…don’t send me to a nursing home.” If you are an older adult, you most likely feel a similar way. 

Here are some reasons why home care may be a better option: 

  •       You can be certain that the home care caregiver will provide your mom or dad with individualized care. Unfortunately, that is not the case in nursing homes, where in most cases the residents far outnumber the team of health care providers on staff. As a result, many have complained about their parents not receiving immediate attention from staff members when they need it.
  •       Your parents will likely feel more comfortable in a familiar home environment whether that be their own or that provided by the agency within the community. Nursing homes are devoid of the freedom and independent life choices older ones long to hold on to.  There’s simply no substitute to experiencing the comfort of their favorite chair, the view from a favored spot of the house, and the interactions of those both young and old who stop by to visit to check on them throughout the week. With home care, your parents would truly be able to cherish life’s enriching experiences.
  •       With an at-home caregiver, your parents can continue to take advantage of opportunities and freedoms that are afforded them despite their advancing age and the limitations their health condition might otherwise place on them. The same cannot be said of nursing homes where restrictive policies and procedures significantly limit what residents can and cannot do.  
  •       At home, your parents can enjoy the food that they like. Nursing homes plan meals for vast amounts of people, and on certain days the food may not be to your parent’s liking. While the meals prepared by the caregivers for your parents would be in accord with whatever dietary restrictions their doctor may impose, the meals would nonetheless be tasty because they all contain a dash of love as an underlining ingredient.

In conclusion, before you attempt to persuade your older parents to move into a nursing home, reconsider your options. It might turn out that home care is the most ideal course for you and your parents.

For further assistance with considering your options, please feel free to contact Help Home Care at admin@helphomecare.com.