Helping Your Patient Manage The Long-Term Effects Of Diabetes
Pegasus Home Health Care is an equal opportunity employer. We’re a nurse-owned and operated business, and we value our reputation for quality care. That’s why we hire professionals with diverse backgrounds, experience, and expertise.
Our skilled in-home caregivers in Rosemead and elsewhere are advocates for their patients. They are aware of services and treatments that help improve a patient’s quality of life. For example, our career home health care nurses are experts at helping patients manage the long-term effects of diabetes.
If your patient has Type 2 diabetes, encourage them to modify their lifestyle to slow the progress. Lifestyle changes can also help individuals with Type 1 diabetes better control their blood sugar. Experts recommend:
- Good Nutrition
- Physical activity
- Smoking cessation
- Weight control
Your Pegasus team includes dietitians as well as physical and occupational therapists. They can help your patient improve their overall health while reducing diabetes complications.
Lifestyle Changes Are Crucial For Reducing Complications
Diabetes, even when well-controlled, affects the whole body. Complications in many individuals start with poor circulation. Unfortunately, your patient may consider it an uncomfortable annoyance they have to live with and prefer to ignore it.
However, poor circulation increases their risk of potentially life-threatening conditions. These include peripheral arterial disease (PAD), stroke, or heart attack. They also have an increased risk of organ damage.
Lifestyle changes help improve circulation. Those changes also serve to reduce neuropathy. Neuropathy is nerve damage that affects approximately half of the people with diabetes.
Some individuals live with minor symptoms of neuropathy. Others experience enough pain to leave them disabled. Good blood sugar management and a healthy lifestyle are the keys to preventing or slowing the progress of neuropathy.
Diabetes Complications Affect The Whole Body
Diabetes can lead to a myriad of complications throughout the body. These include, among others:
- An increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including atherosclerosis. More individuals with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease than from other conditions.
- Diabetic eye diseases, including retinopathy, macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. One or more of these leads to blindness if not treated. Eye diseases may occur earlier in people with diabetes and worsen sooner than in others.
- Foot problems usually result from neuropathy. Feeling in the feet may be lost, putting people with diabetes at risk of amputation.
- Kidney disease (nephropathy). Diabetes is the primary cause of nephropathy because it damages the kidney’s ability to filter toxins from the blood.
Your patients are also at increased risk for skin infections, oral issues, impaired hearing, and dementia. Some individuals may experience digestive problems and urinary tract issues due to diabetes.
Solving Non-Compliance Issues
Controlling their blood sugar levels with healthy lifestyle habits helps limit or reduce the severity of diabetic complications. However, it’s essential that your patients also take any prescribed medications. Your assistance may include monitoring and administering their treatment, including insulin injections.
You may have patients who are reluctant to adhere to their treatment regimen. That’s frequently labeled as non-compliance, an unfortunately negative description. As an in-home caregiver, you spend positive one-on-one time with your patients.
That provides an opportunity to talk to them about why they resist complying with treatment. Once you understand why they don’t follow their treatment plan, you can help them overcome their reluctance. Everyone is different, but common reasons include the following:
- They don’t understand their disease. It’s up to you to educate your patient and family caregivers. Prevent Blindness has free downloadable diabetes fact sheets in English and Spanish. The CDC also has extensive fact sheets, including ones designed for professionals.
- They may have comorbidities, fears, or cultural beliefs that make them reluctant to self-manage diabetes. Your patient may be depressed about adhering to treatment because it doesn’t cure them. You may need to suggest psychological counseling.
- They may just be tired of coping with day-in and day-out treatment. Some individuals have complicated medication schedules that they don’t understand. Others may have unpleasant side effects. As their advocate, you can ensure they have access to technology that can make compliance easier. You can also consult with their pharmacist about improvements in medicines, such as extended-release, that can make compliance less burdensome.
- They may not have the financial resources to purchase insulin or other medications. Use your networking skills to help patients obtain financial relief or access programs that reduce drug costs.
Your role as an educator and advocate will increase your patient’s ability to cope. And your encouragement and support of your patients and their families will increase their compliance.
Join Our Team And Experience Job Satisfaction
Pegasus professional in-home caregivers in Rosemead and our other locations assist individuals of all ages and medical conditions. They are dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of others. Our career home health care nurses know that managing the long-term effects of diabetes increases their patient’s independence.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. We’re hiring professionals who find job satisfaction in helping others. You’ll be treated with respect by your colleagues and by our staff.