Even though diabetes is common among the elderly, those who catch this condition early can often reverse it with a few key lifestyle changes. This is why it is important for seniors and their caregivers to carry out regular foot exams to look for any indications of bacterial infections or diabetic neuropathy. Omaha, NE, non-medical in-home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Here is a simple guide caregivers can use to identify some of the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes.
Ask About Aches and Pains
Before you take a closer look at your loved one’s feet, spend a few minutes asking about his or her general health and wellbeing. Issues such as minor aches are completely normal, but your loved one shouldn’t have ongoing pain in the hands or feet. One of the most common signs of prediabetes is nerve damage that results in numbness, tingling, and general inflammation.
Inspect the Feet Weekly
All seniors should have their feet inspected at least once a week even if they feel healthy. Due to the numbness, many seniors who have prediabetes don’t feel any pain after injuring their feet or developing an infection. Those who are overweight or have a family history of diabetes should have a caregiver or loved one inspect their feet and calves once every few days. Any wounds that are not treated immediately could result in a severe bacterial infection.
Clean the Feet Thoroughly
The next step is to thoroughly clean the feet to remove any debris that might be hiding the wounds. When cleaning the feet, caregivers should use a mild antibacterial soap, warm water, and a clean towel. After the feet have been cleaned and dried, look for unusual lacerations, bumps, or infections. According to the American Diabetes Association, around 25 percent of all diabetics develop foot lacerations or ulcerations.
Check for Tenderness and Numbness
Some signs of diabetes and prediabetes are difficult to recognize. Many seniors become so accustomed to unusual sensations that they never even give them a second thought. While you are inspecting your loved one’s skin, spend a few moments gently prodding the toes and the bottom of the feet to make sure he or she still feels tactile sensations. If your loved one doesn’t feel anything when you are poking the feet, schedule an appointment with the doctor to have your loved one’s blood sugar tested.
Aging adults who need help around the house, transportation to medical appointments and social events, and assistance with exercise can benefit from having an in-home caregiver. Omaha seniors can enjoy greater independence and receive regular mental and social stimulation when relying on a trusted professional who is expertly trained in various aspects of senior care.
Keep the Feet Safe
Even a relatively minor injury can become extremely dangerous if it is not treated immediately. To protect their feet, seniors should wear thick socks and comfortable shoes whenever they leave the home. They should also avoid wearing footwear that irritates their feet. If their feet get wet while wearing shoes, they must immediately remove their shoes to dry the skin off. Moisture within shoes increases the risk of bacterial growth.
Having diabetes may increase a senior’s risk of developing cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who do not have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. For trusted Omaha Alzheimer’s care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. To learn more about our reliable Alzheimer’s care, call (402) 763-9140 to request a no-obligation consultation.