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Seniors and Diabetes: Warning Signs for Home Health Aides

diabetes careWith an increasing number of elderly people being diagnosed with diabetes, it is becoming increasingly important that home health aides be aware of the warning signs of high or low blood sugar when working with diabetic clients. While, ideally, seniors are able to manage their diabetes with proper diet, activity and medication via reminders in your agency’s homecare software or homecare system, there may be times that home care clients unexpectedly suffer from high or low blood sugar.

Warning Signs of Low Blood Sugar
Seniors suffering from low blood sugar may display symptoms including:

  • Complaints of dizziness
  • Shaky hands or body
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hunger
  • Sudden irritability

Have a system in place with caregivers to contact their supervisor or another member of a senior’s care team if they suspect a senior is suffering from low blood sugar, and note incidences in your agency’s homecare software or homecare system.

Warning Signs of High Blood Sugar:
Seniors feeling the effects of high blood sugar may complain of:

  • Nausea
  • Severe thirst
  • An uncommon frequent need to urinate
  • Blurred vision

While these warning signs are the most common associated with diabetes-related blood sugar issues, home health aides should be aware of each client’s unique condition via tasks and assessments in your agency’s homecare software or homecare system, and remember that each person may present symptoms of high or low blood sugar differently. If symptoms persist, aides should alert the family and primary care physician for a more thorough examination.

By empowering your caregivers with the knowledge to recognize problems that may be associated with diabetes, and having a system in place to notify the appropriate people for treatment, you’ll be playing an important part in your clients’ diabetes management. Additionally, a robust homecare system or homecare software can help you track a client’s condition and communicate changes in diabetes care between aides.

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Derek Jones

Derek enjoys spending time with family running road races, has completed 6-half marathons, mountain biking, and anything to do with baseball or the outdoors.