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What Can Happen If Diabetes Is Not Managed Properly?

When providing the type of in-home care Westfield seniors can rely on, it is necessary to pay extra attention to health conditions that may beget further issues. If your elderly loved one has diabetes, for instance, special care should be taken to ensure he or she manages the condition. Ideally, the symptoms of diabetes will be alleviated and any further complications will be prevented. Here are just a few physical issues that can result from neglecting proper diabetes care.

Foot Damage

Diabetes, especially if uncontrolled, can result in nerve damage and poor circulation in the feet. Even the smallest of injuries can lead to serious infection and potentially even amputation. You or a caregiver in Westfield, NJ, can help your loved one keep his or her feet healthy by doing the following:

• Make sure your loved one wears closed-toe shoes and socks at all times 
• Examine your loved one’s feet daily and seek medical attention if you observe calluses, ingrown toenails, or injury
• Make sure your loved one has his or her toenails trimmed by a professional podiatrist

Eye Damage

Diabetes affects the small blood vessels of the eye, which makes diabetics susceptible to retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. If untreated, these conditions can result in permanent blindness. You should encourage your loved one to get regular eye exams from his or her optometrist and to consult an ophthalmologist who specializes in diseases of the eye.

Skin Conditions

Diabetics are prone to developing bacterial and fungal skin infections. These infections typically develop in warm, moist areas under the arms, breasts, and groin. You should encourage your loved one to make sure these areas are kept clean and dry. You should also help him or her examine these areas as needed for signs of redness or rash. Most skin infections are easily treated with prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Hearing Problems

Hearing loss often comes with age. However, diabetics have a higher rate of hearing loss than non-diabetics. The same process that causes diabetic nerve damage in the feet can also cause nerve damage in the ears, resulting in hearing loss. You should observe your loved one for subtle signs of hearing loss such as turning up the television louder than usual or asking you to repeat yourself frequently. You should also encourage him or her to get regular hearing checks with a qualified audiologist.

At Home Care Assistance, we understand chronic conditions such as diabetes can make daily activities difficult or uncomfortable for your loved one. One of our 24-hour caregivers in Westfield can help make daily living more comfortable for your loved one by assisting with mobility, medication reminders, transportation, and much more. We also offer part-time care for seniors who only need assistance a few hours a day or a few days a week. Call a Care Manager today at 908.450.9400 to learn more and to schedule a no-obligation consultation.