Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

Tips to Cope with Caregiving & Senior Diabetes

by: John Aker | June 27th, 2017

Senior DiabetesSenior diabetes is known to raise the risk of a number of major health problems, including heart disease and kidney failure. More recently, studies have also linked diabetes to speedier mental decline and dementia in seniors.

Age is one of the most significant factors in the risk for diabetes. The American Diabetes Association found that 23.1% of seniors over the age of 60 have diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that can be positively affected by caregiving, so an understanding of the risks, treatments and even prevention are essential in protecting your loved one.

Diabetes in seniors can manifest itself differently than what you might traditionally associate with the disease in younger people. For instance, one of the scariest side effects of diabetes in seniors is heart disease. Others can include kidney failure, eye complications such as blindness or glaucoma, foot and skin complications, deterioration of mental health, high blood pressure, arterial disease & stroke.

Living with senior diabetes is really a question of making good life management choices and as a caregiver, you can strongly influence many of those lifestyle choices. Learning what works best is much of the battle against diabetes. Aker Kasten Home Health Care recommends the following:

  • Food Choices are #1 – First and foremost, the most important part of managing diabetes is diet. Caregivers are most likely responsible for shopping or meals, so understanding what foods are good for diabetes and what foods should be avoided can make all the difference. High-carbohydrate foods, such as breads, pastas, potatoes, chips, candy and desserts are foods that will increase blood sugar levels. Keeping track of blood sugar is crucial – higher blood sugar can lead to stroke and heart attack.
  • Get Moving – Exercise is the second most important step to controlling diabetes. Depending on the senior’s ability, any type of exercise is helpful. Running, walking, tennis, golf, gardening – even yoga – provide wonderful benefits for the heart, muscles and mental health. Make sure to check with the doctor prior to beginning any new exercise program. Find out what the senior enjoys and try and incorporate that into a daily routine.
  • Be Aware – The third tip in managing diabetes in seniors is to regularly check for signs of complications. Be aware that seniors don’t always express difficulties or symptoms. If dementia is in play or even a little bit of denial, you won’t necessarily hear complaints. As a caregiver of a senior with diabetes, keeping your eyes and ears open is key.

Make sure to check the senior’s feet for infection, as neuropathy is a frequent problem with diabetics and loss of feeling can be common, causing unreported open sores or lack of circulation. Also be sure to check skin frequently for signs of fungus, infection and even boils. Finally, it is important to medically monitor with blood sugar tests and journals, and ensure that the senior has enough tests and supplies.

Diabetes does not have to be scary for a senior and definitely not for family caregivers. For more tips or information, please contact the home health care experts in Boca Raton, Aker Kasten Home Health Care at 561.955.6010.

Marching On

by: John Aker | March 27th, 2013

March is nearly over. Did it come in like a lion or a lamb for you? We have enjoyed windy weather, the ides of March, college basketball’s March Madness is in full swing, and now you may find yourself involved in a religious observation of Passover or Resurrection Sunday, then the month is concluded. But wait! There’s more! It’s not over just yet.

March is also National Nutrition Month and before the month marches on, we wanted to remind you of a few resources to encourage you to eat well–all year long–and present you with a fun challenge…

Marching On Resources and Reminders
Remaining independent at home is a top priority for many of us.  As a home health provider, we are here to help you do just that!  So, we strongly encourage you to march on. Marching on consists of taking control of that which is within your grasp–namely eating right and exercising–foundations for well-being.

Proper nutrition plays an large role in our well-being, more so if you have any chronic conditions. Our Community Resource Library has great cookbooks–some of which center on meal planning and preparation for those with Arthritis, Diabetes, Hearth Health issues, Pain or inflammatory concerns, Parkinsons’s and even those who require soft foods only. If these are of interest to you, call 561-955-6010 and ask about borrowing a book or having a staff nurse assist you in reviewing them.

Be sure to spend some time investigating the latest information, helpful tips, and great recipes at:

 www.eatright.org       www.choosemyplate.gov      www.nutrition411.com

Did you know that our caregivers can help you choose healthy options at the grocery store and assist you in preparing and eating nutritious meals and snacks? Make a game of it and try a new, healthy recipe together. When you are ready to march on toward something bigger than just nutrition, tackle our challenge below.

The Challenge
To make eating healthier fun and prove it makes a difference, write down all that you eat and drink over a 7 day period. Weigh yourself the first day and write it down. Then write down all the foods and drinks you consume for the next seven days then weigh yourself again. Review your dietary choices. You may be surprised to learn you are already eating good, nutritious meals and snacks. Or, you might find that a few small changes are in order–give yourself some new marching orders.

If you do need to make healthier food choices, begin doing so and log all your food again for another week. (Be sure to list your beverages too–you may be surprised how little water you drink. And many medications can have a dehydrating effect so drinking more water could pay dividends in how you feel.) Weigh yourself again at the end of that week.

The next step would be to march on. That is, add a little walking to your day–your in home caregiver can accompany you. (Be sure to ask your doctor what level of exercise is safe for you.) Even if you can’t walk, you could easily add some movement to your day in the comfort of your own home. Our Community Resource Library offers chair exercise videos so dare your spouse or caregiver to exercise with you–see who can keep a smile on their face through an exercise. Let the winner choose the day’s healthy snack. Keep marching on, you will quickly feel a sense of accomplishment. And in just a short time, exercise and proper nutrition will make a big difference in how you feel!

If you embark on this home health challenge, please let us know. We would love to help encourage and support your healthy changes and celebrate with you when you feel better. Eat well and enjoy the rest of March!

At the top right hand corner of this page, click on the Face Book, Twitter, or Google+ icons to join the conversation. We can’t wait to hear from you…

The content of this page is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.

National Nutrition Month

by: John Aker | March 8th, 2013

Most of us can recall being admonished by our mother to eat your vegatables!

Well, as usual, mom was right.  Even in our information age with scientific and medial breakthroughs, nothing seems to be able to take the place of proper nutrition.

As part of our eNewsletter this month (if you are not receiving your copy, sign up on our home page after you finish reading this article!), we provided a link to allow you to test your health eating IQ by taking a simple quiz which appeared in the Ladies Home Journal.   You might be surprised to learn something new about nutrition that you didn’t know before.  This quiz is quick (only 9 questions) and the right answers pop up after you enter your guess–and they provide additional information to truly educate you.

For instance, did you know that snacking doesn’t always inhibit weight loss?  It all depends on what you snack on!  Snacks that combine food groups (such as a slice of whole-grain toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter) help keep hunger at bay and prevent overeating at mealtime. 

If you have special chronic medical conditions or food allergies, it can be a bit difficult to eat nutritionally balanced meals.  If you find it difficult or just don’t know how to prepare meals that are nutritionally sound, call one of our nurses today to set up a brief visit.  We also make several cookbooks available in our Community Resource Library to address concerns such as heart health, diabetes, and more.  Ask your in home caregiver to help you shop and prepare more nutritionally sound meals and snacks and remember part of good nutrition is to remain hydrated so enjoy several glasses of water each day too!

Call us with any concerns or questions you may have but in the meantime, eat your vegatables!

Whole Grains for a Healthier Heart

by: John Aker | August 14th, 2012

New research suggests people who regularly eat whole grains instead of refined grains take in less of a body fat called VAT, a fat linked to a higher risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.  Researchers published an analysis of dietary surveys and body-fat scans of more than 2,800 men and women between the ages of 32 and 83 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  They found that eating several servings of whole grains a day is associated with lower amounts of VAT.

However, those who ate whole grains without giving up refined grains did not seem to benefit from the whole grain-lower VAT connection, so it’s important to make substitutions in the diet, rather than simply adding whole grain foods.

Not sure how to add whole grain and eliminate refined grain in your diet? Ask your Aker Kasten Home Health caregiver to help you read the labels as you grocery shop together and to use whole grains when preparing your meals.  You’ll soon be on your way to a healthier heart!

Whole grains are filled with nutrients such as B vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.   They also provide a feeling of fullness!  An easy way to add whole grain is to substitute half the white flour with whole wheat flour in your regular recipes for cookies, muffins, or pancakes.

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Call Aker Kasten Home Health Care Agency today at 561-955-6010 to ask for a FREE handout on Whole Grains. * 

* prepared by Kansas State University’s Family Nutrition Program. Adapted from article What’s New by Jonathon Jarashow