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Posts Tagged “Diabetes”

How to Know if You Have Pre-Diabetes & What You Can Do About It

professional Phoenix caregivers If you were at risk for a serious chronic illness like diabetes, chances are you’d know it, right? Turns out, you might not. According to the CDC, one in three Americans has pre-diabetes, and most, 90% in fact, don’t even know it. Because November is National Diabetes Month, our professional Phoenix caregivers want to give you the heads up on how to know if you have pre-diabetes and what you can do about it if you do.

What is pre-diabetes?

Because it often doesn’t present with any symptoms, many people don’t know that pre-diabetes exists or how serious it is to their health. In fact, pre-diabetes frequently goes undetected for years until a person experiences a major health problem caused by elevated blood sugar levels that put the person at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. So, how can you know if you’re at risk for pre-diabetes?

It’s important to talk to your doctor about your risk for pre-diabetes, but certain lifestyle and hereditary factors can increase your risk, including:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Having a close family member (parent or sibling) with type 2 diabetes
  • A previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • Being of African American, Hispanic/Latino American, Native American, Pacific Islander, and/or Asian American race

What can you do now to prevent diabetes?

If you have pre-diabetes or are at risk for the disease, there is good news. The steps for prevention are basic, healthy lifestyle choices that you can start making now.

Step 1: Start exercising. A simple thirty minutes a day, five times a week of brisk walking or a similar activity is recommended to help increase your physical activity.

Step 2: Reduce your weight if you are overweight. A modest weight loss of five to seven percent can make a significant difference.

Step 3: Eat better and smarter to help lower blood sugar. Eat a variety of foods—particularly whole grains and fruits and vegetables, limit serving sizes so you don’t overeat and eat regular meals and small snacks.

Step 4: Find support. Making lifestyle changes to support your health, while important, can often feel daunting, so it’s vital to find support to help keep you on the healthy path. Nightingale’s professional Phoenix caregivers can help support your healthy lifestyle changes by shopping for and preparing nutritious meals that meet your unique dietary needs and encouraging and supporting you in exercise programs recommended by your doctor.

Additionally, our Pathlink Chronic Disease Management program is known for improving outcomes and decreasing re-hospitalizations for patients with a wide variety of chronic conditions, including diabetes, through improved health literacy, self-management skills, and more.

If you or a loved one has pre-diabetes, our dedicated Phoenix caregivers can help. Call us at (602) 504-1555, or contact us online to let us know how we can help, and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Tips for Managing Diabetic Wound Care

in home care Phoenix AZ

Learn techniques for better diabetic wound care.

Putting your best foot forward takes on a whole new meaning for those with diabetes! Foot ulcers are common in diabetics, resulting from neuropathy (nerve damage that reduces the sensation of pain), circulation problems, deformities of the feet, and more. Other risk factors for developing diabetic ulcers include:

Thankfully, there are steps diabetics can take to reduce the chance of developing foot ulcers. Nightingale Homecare, the top providers of the professional in home care Phoenix AZ seniors need, encourages those with diabetes to schedule regular visits with a podiatrist and to take these preventative measures:

  • Take a close look each day at your feet for any redness, irritation, bruises, cuts, sores, cracks, blisters, etc. Pay particular attention to the areas between the toes and the soles of the feet. If any irregularities or discomfort are noted, schedule an appointment with the podiatrist as soon as possible.
  • Ask the podiatrist for recommendations on appropriate footwear, and avoid going barefoot, even when at home.
  • Make any necessary lifestyle changes to ensure your risk of developing ulcers is minimized: stop smoking, maintain a healthy diet and weight, and limit alcohol consumption.

If a foot ulcer does develop, the podiatrist will want to ensure that:

  • Blood sugar is lowered
  • The ulcer is properly debrided (dead skin/tissue is removed)
  • Any infections are treated
  • Pressure and friction of the feet are reduced
  • Proper blood flow is restored

The key to healing is early intervention and treatment of the ulcer, and then continued management of the wound until healing is achieved. The podiatrist may recommend a topical medication and dressings to keep the wound clean and free of infection. In severe cases, surgery may be required, although this is the exception rather than the rule.

Did you know that Nightingale Homecare provides highly skilled wound and ostomy care for seniors struggling with diabetic foot ulcers, as well as for pressure ulcers, surgical wounds, venous stasis ulcers, arterial ulcers, and more – right in the comfort of home?

Our home health care services make healing easier and more comfortable for seniors, with a full range of customized care provided by registered nurses, home health aides, and non-medical companions, to ensure that each individual’s particular needs are addressed and that quality of life, health and overall wellbeing are enhanced.

Contact the professional care team at Nightingale Homecare any time by calling (602) 504-1555 or by completing our simple online contact form to schedule a free in-home assessment or to allow us to answer any questions you may have.

Top Tips for Preventing Diabetic Kidney Disease

kidney diseaseThe Diabetes Council shares that diabetes is the leading cause for kidney failure; in fact, as many as half of all diabetics will be diagnosed with some type of kidney damage in their lifetime. However, there are steps that those with diabetes can take to prevent kidney disease. The Phoenix home health care experts at Nightingale Homecare share the following common questions about diabetes and its connection to kidney disease, and the answers to help keep diabetics healthy:

  • Am I at a greater risk for kidney disease than those without diabetes? There is a link between kidney disease and the glucose control issues inherent in diabetes, but those with high blood pressure, poor diet and genetic history for kidney disease are also at heightened risk.
  • How can I tell if I have kidney disease? Symptoms may not be evident in the early stages of the disease, but as the disease progresses, patients may experience nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, weight gain, and eventually fluid in the lungs and heart failure. A simple test to detect levels of protein in the urine can indicate kidney disease, so it’s important for those with diabetes to closely follow the physician’s recommendations for ongoing blood work and other tests to monitor for kidney disease and other complications.
  • How can I prevent kidney disease? Carefully and consistently checking blood sugar levels is crucial, as well as adhering to all doctors’ orders and taking medications exactly as prescribed. An in-home care provider, such as the Phoenix home health care team at Nightingale Homecare, can be invaluable in reducing the risk for developing complications such as kidney disease from diabetes.
  • What treatment options are available if I am diagnosed with kidney disease? Certain types of high blood pressure medications have been found to reduce the pressure in the kidneys, helping to stop or delay the progression of kidney disease in those with diabetes. A diet low in protein may also be beneficial. Dialysis or a kidney transplant may be a viable option as well. The physician will be able to recommend the best treatment option for each individual.
  • How can home care help? A professional home care agency can help individuals with diabetes and kidney disease in a number of ways. Specifically, Nightingale Homecare’s Pathlink Chronic Disease Management program uses nationally-recognized standards of care to help seniors actively manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, allowing them to fully understand their diagnosis, improve outcomes, and reduce hospitalizations. Our Pathlink program includes:
    • Education for improved self-management skills
    • Integration of “High-touch” approach to provide frequent contact with those most at risk of re-hospitalization
    • Evidence based interventions built on adult learning principles
    • Health literacy assessment and intervention tools
    • Innovative strategies for working with non-adherent patients
    • Technology for effective patient management and ongoing clinical oversight

Whether enrolling in our comprehensive Pathlink program, or selecting other skilled or home care services, our fully trained and skilled nurses and home health care aides can help in a variety of ways, including:

  • Blood draws
  • Glucose monitoring
  • Education on effective diabetes management techniques
  • Diabetic self-management skills
  • Medication reminders
  • Chronic disease management
  • Transportation to medical appointments and treatments
  • Meal planning and preparation in conjunction with any dietary restrictions
  • Friendly companionship
  • And much, much more

To learn more about how we can help with diabetes management and to keep seniors healthy and thriving, in the comfort of home, contact the in-home care specialists at Nightingale Homecare. Our Phoenix home health care professionals are available any time to answer questions, consult with you and your senior loved one at home, and provide individualized home care services to enhance quality of life and overall health and wellbeing. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 to learn more.

Posted in Blog, Phoenix, Senior Health on March 27th, 2018 · Comments Off on Top Tips for Preventing Diabetic Kidney Disease

Talking Turkey About Common Diabetes Myths with Nightingale Homecare

Nightingale Home CareA diabetes diagnosis is life-changing, no doubt about it. But it’s also fraught with myths that well-meaning friends and family members will likely be quick to offer up as advice. With the season of holiday eating upon us, and since food often plays the lead role in those myths, we at Nightingale Homecare want to arm diabetics, and those who care for them, with the true facts about diabetes:

  1. Sweets, in moderation, are ok. According to the American Diabetes Association, a limited amount of sweets, in conjunction with a healthy diet, are just fine for those with type 2 diabetes.
  2. Excessive sugar does not cause diabetes. Its cause is genetic, combined with lifestyle choices – meaning someone who is obese is certainly more at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but blood sugar isn’t the same as the refined white sugar we’re stirring into our coffee. Too much sugar can result in someone gaining weight, but we can’t place the blame for diabetes on it.
  3. Insulin is not just for diabetics. We all need insulin – it’s just that those with diabetes are either not producing enough insulin naturally through the pancreas, or are not able to process it correctly.
  4. Complications from diabetes are not inevitable. The key is managing blood sugar levels and remaining under the regular care of a physician.
  5. People of all weights can be diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is often considered to affect only those who are overweight, but, particularly for older adults, obesity doesn’t come into play.

Most importantly, those with diabetes should be encouraged in knowing that in spite of the long-term nature of the disease and its potential complications, those with diabetes can live normal, active, fulfilling lives. And, the professionals at Nightingale Homecare are here to help seniors with diabetes do just that!

The services we offer run the gamut from companionship and help around the house to complex medical care by our highly trained nursing staff, including:

  • Infusion services (IV antibiotics and fluids, pain management, nutrition and more)
  • Ventilator/respiratory services (oxygen, tracheotomy care, BiPAP, CPAP and more)
  • Wound care and blood draws
  • Training on management of chronic illnesses
  • Blood draws
  • Tube feedings and stoma care – and much more

Contact the most trusted Phoenix senior care specialists at Nightingale Homecare for a free in-home assessment and to have any questions answered by our professional care team. Call us at 602-504-1555, or simply complete our online contact form and we’ll be back in touch with you soon.

Posted in Blog, Senior Health on November 11th, 2016 · Comments Off on Talking Turkey About Common Diabetes Myths with Nightingale Homecare

How to Help Seniors Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Phoenix diabetes home careDietary restrictions. Finger pricks. Multiple medications. Exercise regimens. Doctors’ appointments. Keeping all of the facets of diabetes management under control can become overwhelming for seniors and those who care for them!

If a beloved senior in your life struggles with type 2 diabetes, try these tips to help ensure optimum health:

  • Monitoring: Consistent tracking of glucose levels is crucial to keeping the disease under control. Check with the doctor to see if home glucose monitoring is an option.
  • Meals: Since different foods can cause dramatic effects on glucose levels, it’s important to carefully plan meals, and then stick to that plan.
  • Movement: While a physician-approved exercise program can help anyone improve their overall health, it’s particularly imperative for diabetics to keep moving, as exercise can also have an impact on glucose levels.
  • Medical: Different areas of the body can be affected by diabetes, such as the eyes, kidneys, teeth and gums. Annual eye exams and urine/blood tests to verify kidney health, along with twice yearly dental checkups, can keep diabetes-related issues throughout the body at bay.

Additionally, blood pressure and cholesterol levels need to be within appropriate ranges, as specified by the doctor. And annual flu shots are a must, along with a pneumonia vaccination for those over age 65.

While medical costs for diabetes care management can escalate quickly with all of these requirements, it’s helpful to note that Medicare helps with covering expenses for diabetes test kits and other supplies, medical exams, diabetic-specific footwear, and even meal planning. Visit www.medicare.gov or call them at 1-800-633-4227 to learn more.

Nightingale Homecare has been providing Phoenix senior care for over 20 years, and can help your senior loved one better manage diabetes, or any other chronic condition, through our Pathlink Chronic Disease Management program, using nationally-recognized standards of care, including:

  • Patient self-management skills to promote sustained outcome improvement
  • Health literacy assessment and intervention tools
  • Technology for effective patient management and ongoing clinical oversight

We can also help with planning and preparing nutritious and delicious meals, providing transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and procedures, picking up prescriptions and running errands, and overall providing a cheerful countenance to brighten the day with our fully trained and experienced, patient, and compassionate caregiving team. Contact us at 602-504-1555 to learn more and to get started.

Posted in Blog, Senior Health on March 2nd, 2016 · Comments Off on How to Help Seniors Manage Type 2 Diabetes