Diabetes has become an epidemic in the United States and is especially common among the elderly. More than a quarter of Americans over the age of 65 suffer from diabetes, and as life expectancy increases, nursing facilities are finding themselves treating many residents with diabetes.

The older a patient is, the more likely it is that their diabetes will cause other health problems and the more likely that health problems they develop will be more serious.

Sugar Levels

It is important for a diabetic is to keep his or her sugar levels within the range of normal. If sugar levels become too high or low, the patient may need medication such as insulin to bring it back to normal. Medical staff at nursing homes must test blood sugars regularly. In a patient with mild diabetes, blood can be tested a few times a week, but some patients require testing 2-4 times a day.

Diet and Nutrition

Sugar levels are also kept in check by eating the right foods. Diabetics should keep their weight down and avoid fat and cholesterol. In a nursing facility, it is the responsibility of the staff to make sure that the diabetic resident is being served food he enjoys which is in line with his doctor’s recommendations.

Follow These Guidelines

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has created a standard of care for nursing facilities to follow. Many nursing homes have begun to train staff to follow these guidelines, so that residents can live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14. The theme for 2019 is Family and Diabetes. There is a surprising lack of knowledge about the symptoms of diabetes, so family members often miss the signs that something is wrong. In nursing homes, medical personnel take the place of family and are responsible for educating themselves on the symptoms of diabetes and letting the physicians know when diabetes is suspected. The International Diabetes Federation provides crucial information about diabetes, including a test to see what you know about the disease.