Being diagnosed with diabetes is life-changing.
Many seniors with diabetes need to use insulin to manage the condition, as well as making lifestyle changes. One of the changes they need to make is in the way they eat. While it may seem like following a healthy diet shouldn’t be hard, for diabetics it can be complicated. In addition to including healthy foods, diabetics also need to learn how to balance carbohydrates with the other foods they eat and how foods can impact their blood sugar levels. Working with a dietician can make it easier to know how to prepare foods for a diabetic senior.
What is a Dietician?
Dieticians are specially trained individuals who are experts in food and how nutrition affects the body. Usually, when someone is first diagnosed with diabetes, they are usually referred to a dietician to create a personalized plan for eating. This is sometimes called medical nutrition therapy.
Medical nutrition therapy is often covered by insurance and Medicare Part B. Check with your aging relative’s insurance carrier to find out whether these services are considered a coverable expense.
What Do Dieticians Do?
Even if your older family member saw a dietician when they were first diagnosed with diabetes, if they haven’t worked with one in a while, it may be a good idea to see one again. Family caregivers should attend the appointments with the senior if possible, especially if they are responsible for preparing meals.
Some of the things a dietician can do to aid seniors with diabetes are:
Develop a Meal Plan: A dietician will ask the diabetic about their lifestyle, such as what they usually eat, likes and dislikes, and how much they exercise. The meal plan will take all of these things into account and meet the senior’s nutritional needs and help them to keep their blood sugar levels within the target range. They can also re-evaluate the plan from time to time to adjust for lifestyle changes.
Weight Loss: If the diabetic is overweight, the dietician can teach them how to track the calories they eat and expend to achieve weight loss, which helps with diabetes management.
Food Suggestions: Dieticians can provide the senior with ideas for foods to eat when their blood sugar is either too high or too low.
Nutritional Labels: Reading food labels is crucial to making healthy food choices. A dietician can explain how to read food labels and what to look for in determining if a food is healthy.
If your aging relative struggles to eat well with diabetes, an elder care provider can help. An elder care provider can help to plan meals that follow the dietician’s meal plan. They can also drive the senior to the grocery store and assist them with picking out foods and reading nutritional labels. Elder care providers can also remind the older adult to check their blood sugar levels and adjust what they eat accordingly.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Vestavia, AL, please contact the caring staff at Senior Legacy Care today. Call us at (205) 380-7418.
Susan Smith, Owner
Susan Smith is the owner of Senior Legacy, an independent non-medical senior in home care business.... Read More...