Roughly 8.3% of the population in the United States suffers from diabetes. This rate rises significantly in the elderly community, with about 20% of elders from 65 to 75 years of age suffering from the disease. In the range of individuals over 80 years old, that rate rises to 40%.
Diabetes is expected only to increase with the rising rates of life expectancy. Nursing homes have the important task of caring for many elders that have many different ailments, including diabetes. The lack of appropriate standards of care for diabetic patients can be detrimental to the life of these individuals and can cause serious damage to their lives. Training nursing home staff to handle situations that may arise with these patients is vital to ensuring their well-being.
Diabetes is a disease that affects many elderly individuals every year. There are many issues that derive from this condition. Diabetic patients require specific care to improve their wellness and stay in good health. Diabetic patients past the age of 65 may experience mental and physical challenges that may lead to an increased probability of an early passing.
Heart issues, high blood pressure, and other diseases are more common in individuals of certain age with diabetes. Furthermore, this group might also experience slower mental capacity, nagging pains, incontinence, depression, anxiety, and more.
Diabetics need to keep their blood sugar in check at all times. If blood sugar levels are too high or too low, especially in elderly patients, medical complications may appear. It is the duty of the nursing home to train its staff how to treat these elderly patients and how to keep a hands-on approach to keeping these individuals’ blood sugar levels under control.
Elderly patients might need to take medicine in order to control their blood sugar levels. Staff members in nursing homes must keep up with the medication schedule, the dosage, and must also make sure the patient ingests the medicine. Insulin shots are the most common medication administered to diabetics to properly manage blood sugar levels.
Elderly diabetic patients must have the best nutrition possible. The intake of appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals is essential. Doing so keeps the patient’s immune system strong and maintains a proper weight, both of which help in combating diabetes and its adverse effects. Also, avoiding unhealthy fats and bad cholesterol is recommended.
This is a vital component of well-rounded elderly diabetic care. Monitoring the patient’s blood sugar levels is a task that has to be done in a timely manner for the wellbeing and stability of the patient. This responsibility then lies on the staff members of the nursing home facilities and is done numerous times a week. Often times, however, patients who require insulin shots on a regular basis might need to get their blood sugar levels tested 2-4 times per day.
Many premature deaths have occurred due to negligence and improper care rendered by nursing home staff who were either not trained properly or simply didn’t follow the necessary protocols to ensure the patient’s safety and wellbeing. A lawsuit may be necessary if a family member of an elderly diabetic patient in a nursing home suspects negligence on the part of the staff with respect to diabetic care.