One of the most common issues that BrightStar Care® patients face is balancing diet and diabetes. It's so prevalent of an issue, in fact, that we have tailored a specific plan to help patients with diabetes manage their own meals. In addition to our BrightStar Clinical Pathways for Diabetes plan, we want to offer a handful of fast facts about diabetes to help shed some light on the issue, its importance, and proper steps for bringing diabetes and diet into balance.
Important Facts About Diabetes
- The American Diabetes Association reports that 25.9 percent of all people ages 65 and older suffer from diabetes, a condition where the body no longer processes food into energy. If not managed properly and held in check, diabetes can cause kidney failure, heart disease and stroke, sometimes leading to blindness, amputation, and death.
- Diabetes management can be a challenge, as the state of Colorado is discovering. According to the latest America’s Health Rankings® put out by the United Health Foundation, Colorado ranks 44th among the 50 U.S. states in diabetes management, despite ranking No. 5 overall among best states for seniors to live.
- Among the foremost challenges facing the management of diabetes is simply the fact that elderly patients cover such a wide range of ages and diversity of conditions. A 65-year-old treating the disease at home can be a lot different than an 85-year-old in assisted living. This makes the case-by-case management of the disease one which can vary greatly, patient to patient.
- One thing is key to proper diabetes management: a combination of self-managed care along with a team-based approach that includes a proactive diabetic meal plan.
- Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type of diabetes among seniors. It is the type of diabetes most influenced by diet and nutrition. Caregivers can effectively treat this disease by formulating a comprehensive meal plan that helps keep blood sugar and the diabetes under control.
Real Meal Management for Seniors With Type 2 Diabetes
The good news for those living with the disease is that diabetes management often simply means making healthier choices. Portion control is important, as is selecting healthy foods to eat that include a lot of vegetables and lean meat. Foods that are sugar-free, low in sodium, and fresh are preferable to fried foods rich in fat. Simple meal-planning methods such as calorie counting and keeping track of the glycemic indexes on foods are effective. Plan meals with healthier alternatives to favorite foods, keep meals simple, and develop a routine that works best for you and effectively manages your diabetes.
The BrightStar Solution
BrightStar Care® Fort Collins/Loveland offers the BrightStar Clinical Pathways for Diabetes home care plan, which employs an evidence-based approach that focuses on the key aspects of diabetes management. These include healthy eating plans, daily foot inspections, and blood sugar tracking to make sure those with the disease and their families have the knowledge and coping skills to successfully manage the disease.
The BrightStar Clinical Pathway for Diabetes team makes sure the patient clearly understands the plan of care and steps needed for success, that the family feels confident in the diabetes management plan, and that their physician is kept up to date on the patient’s condition. A BrightStar team of caregivers, led by an RN coordinator, makes periodic visits to review physician orders, make assessments and listen to patient concerns. The team checks the patient’s vital signs, blood glucose levels and other key indicators of health before reviewing with the patient and family and discussing future care plans.
BrightStar also offers exclusive Clinical Pathways educational resources for diabetes patients and their families. We would be honored to assist you or your loved one with diabetes management. Contact us today for a free assessment at (970) 667-7778.