Beneficial Assisted Living Services for Diabetic Residents

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If your senior loved one has unstable blood sugar caused by diabetes, then he or she may be at high risk for health complications or falls. This may make it dangerous for the elderly individual to live alone, and because of this, you may need to consider relocating your loved one to an assisted living facility. Here are some services provided by an assisted living community that may be beneficial for diabetic residents. 

Therapeutic Meal Options

Diabetics must follow their prescribed diets to help keep their serum glucose levels within normal limits. The dietary staff at the assisted living facility will follow the physician's dietary orders to make sure that the diabetic resident is eating the proper low-glycemic foods. Dietary staff members will offer your loved one several therapeutic meal options to suit the senior's individual preferences.

The staff will also monitor your loved one's weight to make sure that it stays within normal limits. Obesity can spike blood sugar levels, raising the risk for circulatory problems, high blood pressure, renal damage, and diabetic retinopathy of the eyes. If the elderly resident is overweight, the staff physician will recommend a calorie-restricted diet to help the individual lose weight. Weight loss can lower blood sugar levels, improve cardiovascular function, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk for diabetes-related stasis ulcers of the lower extremities.

Psycho-Social Interventions

Elderly diabetics may be at risk for developing depression. Assisted living communities offer several psycho-social programs to help diabetics deal with depression and anxiety so that they can cope better with their day-to-day activities. These programs and interventions may include socialization programs to help minimize social isolation.

Community dining is encouraged so that residents can interact with their peers. Exercise and therapeutic rehab programs are also available to help improve mobility, enhance circulation, and relieve depression. It is thought that exercise helps the brain release certain chemicals known as endorphins, which are sometimes called "feel-good hormones." Exercise may also help your loved one sleep better at night, which can help maintain a favorable blood glucose profile.

If your senior loved one has diabetes and can longer live alone, call an assisted living facility and speak to an admissions manager, who will explain the benefits of the facility as it pertains to the individual's health needs. The assisted living manager will also answer your questions relating to policies, procedures, and financial guidelines for admission to the facility.