Diabetes is so prevalent in America that it has become increasingly common to receive a diagnosis and be sent home with a stack of papers regarding lifestyle changes including diet and exercise—with little explanation. Ask someone who has diabetes what it’s caused by, and they’ll say high blood sugar. They know this because the doctor sent them home with a monitoring device that helps them keep taps on it three times a day. To a senior who may have other physical or mental ailments that they are dealing with as well, it can be confusing and overwhelming. Finding an easy way to explain just what is going on in their body and why the lifestyle changes are important can help ensure compliance. Knowledge is power.
Metaphors can be used to explain the process of diabetes. Sometimes simpler truly is better.
Envision the body’s cells as suitcases. Blood sugar is the clothing, which is being packed, while insulin in the person doing the packing. The more clothes (sugar) you try and get into the suitcase, the harder it is for the packer (insulin) to do their job. The pancreas then produces more and more insulin—in a search for more packers to get the job done—like adding more and more people to sit on top of a suitcase in order to get it closed. Eventually, the cell won’t close, no matter how many packers are sitting on it. It explodes, and blood sugar rises, and a person is diagnosed with diabetes.
How Diet and Exercise Make Sense
To decrease the amount of clothes going into the suitcase, you need to limit the amount of sugar going into the body. This includes sweets, starches, alcohol and fruit. Fruits high in sugar include bananas and mangoes. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat them, you just need to eat them in a smaller sized serving. An example: All of the following fruits contain 15 grams of carbohydrates: ½ medium banana, ½ cup cubed mango, ¾ cubed pineapple, 1 ¼ cup cubed watermelon.
The other tack to take is to empty out the suitcase. That is where exercise comes in. Empty the cells of excess sugar and your suitcase will not be overflowing. That’s why exercise is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Home Care Provider
Now that your parent knows why they need to change their lifestyle, they just need the incentive to carry it out. If they are feeling overwhelmed or are unable to perform the daily activities of living, consider the services of a home care provider. These professionals have been caring for countless seniors facing this disease. They know the right food items to get at the grocery store and how to prepare meals that are diabetic-friendly. They can also accompany your parent on daily walks, providing them with the support and companionship so vital to one undertaking a change in lifestyle.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Morrison, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.