Nov 9, 2017 by Robert Myer
In honor of American Diabetes Month, Comfort Keepers Shreveport, LA compiled this brief list of home health care services and tips for managing diabetes that are sure to help local adults keep their blood sugar levels and weight at bay. Seniors with diabetes don’t need to give up all their favorite holiday meals and treats; however, they should take precautions to help ensure that they manage their diabetes throughout the holiday season. The following are some helpful tips for seniors who want to know more about managing their diabetes:
Exercise might not be your first priority during the holidays, but for seniors with diabetes regular exercise is essential. Not only will exercise help regulate their blood sugar; it will also help them keep off those extra holiday pounds. And maintaining a healthy weight is critically important for seniors with diabetes. Home health care providers can help seniors maintain a workout schedule, provide transportation to a recreation center or assist with exercise at home.
A few great exercises for older adults with diabetes include brisk walking outside or on a treadmill, water aerobics or swimming, bicycling, tai-chi, yoga and stationary bicycling.
If older adults with diabetes are cooking dinner for their family or attending a dinner at a loved one’s home, they should search for healthy alternatives to traditional holiday dishes. For example, rather than preparing regular mashed potatoes, they can make cauliflower mashed potatoes. Instead preparing cakes and cookies, they should opt for alternative dishes that are made of sugar-free sweeteners.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not a good idea for older adults to skip meals in order to save up for a big holiday feast. By doing so, seniors will find it more challenging to control their blood sugar. They will likely be starving and more likely to overeat if they skip meals than they would if they eat a nutritious meal a few hours beforehand.
Holiday gatherings almost always involve some type of alcohol. While it’s okay for seniors to have a drink or two, they should be careful not to overindulge, as alcohol can reduce blood sugar levels and impact diabetes medications. In the event that they do decide to drink, diabetic older adults should pair their alcohol with food.
Due to the fact that the holiday season is filled with social gatherings, many seniors stay out later and get less sleep as a result. Since sleep deprivation makes it more difficult for older adults to control their blood sugar, and almost always leads to overindulging in foods that are high in fat and sugar, it’s imperative that older adults get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
Sticking to a diabetic meal plan and healthy lifestyle choices can be tough when there are temptations and holiday gatherings that make it easy for seniors to splurge. The good news is it can be done when older adults make it a priority to look for diabetes friendly alternatives to traditional holiday dishes, exercise regularly, obtain enough sleep, avoid skipping meals and limit their alcohol intake. Seniors who do better with some accountability and personal support should consider obtaining home health care services.
If you have a senior loved one with diabetes who could benefit from home health care in Shreveport, LA, contact us or call (318) 319-2745 today to talk with a home care specialist about the ways that your senior loved one can stay healthy during the holidays without having to skip all those delicious holiday dishes.