If your loved one has developed Type 2 Diabetes as she’s aged, she needs to keep on top of her condition to prevent any other health issues from developing. Diabetes occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels get too high. This occurs because the body has stopped being able to create enough insulin to keep those levels at a safe level. Without enough insulin, glucose can’t get into your loved one’s cells as quickly as it should. It then builds up in the blood and causes high blood sugar levels.
Over time, these high blood sugar levels may damage the vessels and nerves in the feet. The nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy, can cause some foot problems as well as mask some foot problems.
If your loved one has diabetes, home care assistance can support her daily efforts to manage the disease. These efforts can include a specific diet, incorporating exercise into her daily life, or assessing them regularly for signs of damage.
Here are some ways to help keep your loved one’s feet healthy:
- Check them daily for any type of injury. Because diabetic neuropathy can cause feet to become numb and not always feel the pain associated with a cut or scrape, it’s easy for those areas to become infected without your loved one knowing. A home care assistance provider can help look for any new sores or ingrown toenails that might need medical attention.
- Wash them daily. Don’t soak them, but give a good washing each day with warm (not hot) water and soap. Then make sure to dry them well and apply lotion if dry skin is a problem. Never apply lotion between the toes. Use talcum powder between toes if needed.
- Trim the nails, but not too short. Your loved one might need help trimming her own nails. That’s where your home care assistance provider can help or you might have her visit a podiatrist. Nails should be cut straight across and left long enough to prevent ingrown toenails from developing.
- Since the feet often can no longer feel heat or cold very well, it’s important to prepare them correctly for the elements and not rely on signals from them about being too hot or too cold. If your loved one is walking on a hot, sunny day, make sure she’s not barefoot, even at the beach. Invest in some beach shoes that’ll protect her feet from the hot sand or cement around a pool. When it’s cold outside, wool socks and well-fitting warm shoes are the key to keeping her feet comfortable.
- Put her feet up. When it’s time to rest, putting your loved one’s feet up on an ottoman or the couch can help with blood flow. Encourage her to wiggle her toes and make sure socks are not too tight.
With proper care, your loved one’s feet will stay in good shape.
If you or an aging loved one is considering home care assistance in Lafayette, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Walnut Creek. (925) 203-3039.
Most people don’t like to talk about the bladder or what it does, especially when it isn’t working properly. The bladder is a balloon-like organ that stores urine until it is evacuated from the body. Like many organs of the body, it can change as a person ages. The bladder may become less flexible, not allowing it to expand as much to hold urine. That may cause your loved one to have to use the bathroom more often. The walls and the pelvic floor may weaken, making it more difficult to fully empty the bladder, which can cause urine to leak out later at unexpected times.
Even if your loved one isn’t experiencing any bladder issues, he can help prevent them by applying these seven steps for better bladder health.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Both of these can help him maintain a healthy bladder and reduce the risk of leaking urine. Have your loved one plan out his daily exercise routine (30 minutes a day is optimum) and then have an accountability partner such as his elder care provider to keep him focused on meeting those daily goals.
- Make diet adjustments. Some foods and drinks can make bladder problems worse. Soda, artificial sweeteners, citrus fruits, and spicy foods can make a bladder problem worse. If any of those items are a regular part of your loved one’s diet, ask his elder care provider to help him find better substitutes the next time they go grocery shopping.
- Drink more water. If your loved one enjoyed his soda and is looking for a replacement, have him increase his water consumption. He should drink enough that he needs to urinate every few hours to keep his bladder in tip-top shape.
- Drink less alcohol and caffeine. Both of these products can cause bladder issues. Caffeinated drinks can irritate the bladder and stimulate it to need to urinate too often.
- When urinating, take time and relax. Running into the bathroom and then running out may not give your loved one’s body the time it needs to fully empty the bladder. Your loved one should give himself enough time to fully empty his bladder when urinating.
- Urinate often. While sometimes a person can become very busy or focused on an activity, your loved one should strive to take breaks at least to urinate every few hours. Holding urine in the bladder can weaken the bladder muscles and possibly create a bladder infection. Have your elder care provider ask your loved one each time he visits when was the last time he used the bathroom. If it was more than 4 hours ago, he should try to use it again.
- Wear cotton and loose-fitting clothes. Both of these will allow the area to stay dry and not trap moisture, which can lead to infections.
Don’t let bladder issues keep your loved one from enjoying life. Help him find some new healthy bladder practices and if the problem persists, see a doctor to help him find a solution so he can continue to get out and do the things he loves.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Walnut Creek, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Walnut Creek. (925) 203-3039.