Diabetes Care

 Most people living with diabetes become experts in managing their condition. As people get older they may require a bit of additional support with some aspects of managing their diabetes whether this is with blood sugar monitoring, dietary assistance, maintaining good hydration or foot care.  These aspects are an essential part of maintaining good health when you have diabetes.

 

How Radfield Home Care Can Assist You

There are many ways in which Radfield Home Carers can assist with diabetes care and detailed below are some of the ways in which we can support people to manage their diabetes on a daily basis. Please note however that we do not administer insulin.

 

Blood Sugar Monitoring

Many people living with diabetes test their blood sugar levels regularly to gauge their response to certain foods, to monitor diabetic control and to identify where blood sugar levels are too high or too low: hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia respectively.

Carers can assist you to take blood sugar readings and record these as frequently as required to provide information that can be shared with health care professionals e.g. diabetic nurses and GP's etc. If blood sugar readings are too high or too low they can follow pre-agreed action protocols to manage the situation and get medical assistance if required.

 

Dietary Assistance

Ensuring a healthy diet that is low in fat, sugar and salt is recommended for diabetics. Dietary advice from the NHS here  

Managing diet well can improve diabetic control and reduce the risk of long term diabetic complications.  Some people who are overweight may also improve their diabetic control if they can bring their weight into a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range of between 18.5 and 25. For those with a BMI above the healthy range, NICE recommends aiming to achieve gradual weight loss of 5 to 10% of body weight over a period of a year.  Read here for more information about BMI    

Carers can assist with shopping for and preparing meals that are agreed with you and in line with a diabetic diet and can help to monitor and record weight as required.  Carers are all trained in nutrition and maintaining good hydration, which is very important for good blood sugar control. Where required we can monitor daily food and fluid intake to allow health care professionals to more fully understand that person's diet and hydration day to day which may inform their management of diabetic medication etc.

 

 Physical Activity

Increasing physical activity is usually advised for people with diabetes and where possible carers can assist with accompanying clients on walks outside the home and gently increasing the amount of exercise that they are able to take.

 

Diabetic Foot Care

One of the possible long term complications from diabetes is foot problems. Diabetes can cause damage to nerves in the feet which mean that people with diabetes become less aware of when they have damaged their feet or lower legs.

It is advised that daily foot checks are done to identify any potential problems with feet early e.g. a cut or an ingrowing toenail that could lead to infection.
If required carers can assist clients with this and can inspect feet daily to ensure no damage has occurred and take photos to show the client if needed.
For more information about caring for your feet go to this link on the Diabetes UK website 

 

Assistance to Attend Diabetic Reviews and Screenings

Reviews and screenings are an essential part of avoiding diabetic complications. These complications are usually checked for at reviews with the Diabetic Nurse, GP or hospital consultant and the sooner that they are identified the easier the are to treat and to get under control.
If a family member is not available, our carers can accompany clients to hospital, GP or other appointments and if desired attend the appointment with them and take notes on what is discussed which can subsequently be shared with family members if the client wishes.

 

Diabetes and Being Ill

Having an illness or infection can make it harder to control blood sugar levels as your body will release extra glucose into your blood stream as a response to the illness.
If you become ill and are diabetic it is advisable to:

Test your blood sugars more often than usual. 
Keep well hydrated
Keep eating
Keep taking your diabetes medication

If you are unsure how to manage the situation then you should obtain advise from your diabetic team or GP.

Radfield Home Carer can assist you with all of the above areas if you become unwell and they can liaise with your health care team as required through the course of your illness.

Click here for more guidance on how to manage your diabetes if you are unwell