More Support for Diabetes Health Care
A diabetes educator
A certified diabetes educator (CDE) can teach you and your parent how to test blood glucose levels, give insulin injections, develop healthy eating habits, and create a safe and suitable exercise program. A CDE can also offer advice on ways to remember to take medications, and how to prevent or reduce complications.
A certified diabetes educator may be a trained doctor, nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, exercise physiologist, podiatrist, or social worker. Look for a CDE among the listings at the American Association of Diabetes Educators' find-an-educator tool or visit MyDiabetesEducator.org. Also, check out the American Diabetes Association's state-by-state listing of diabetes education programs that meet the organization's standards for excellence.
Healthy eating is a key component of diabetes care, as it can help your parent control her weight, lower her blood sugar, and help her body better use insulin. A registered dietician (RD) is an expert in food and nutrition who's trained to work with families to tailor meal plans to suit individuals.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that every person with diabetes receive a personalized meal plan designed by an RD. Search the American Dietetic Association's member database for an RD near your parent.
An exercise physiologist
Exercise is a vital component in managing diabetes, as it can help your parent control her weight, lower her blood sugar, and better utilize insulin. It can also improve blood fat levels, reduce stress, and elevate mood.
A licensed exercise physiologist (EPC) can help plan a safe, effective exercise program, although it may be difficult to find an EPC in your parent's area. Ideally, look for someone who has experience working with seniors or people with diabetes. If your parent has diabetic complications or mobility issues, check with her doctor before she embarks on an exercise regimen.
The American College of Sports Medicine can help you find a professional in your parent's area.
Most people with diabetes need medicine to control the condition. And because other conditions that also require drug remedies -- such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels -- are common in those who suffer from diabetes, a pharmacist familiar with your parent's medication history can inform you about any possible side effects or interactions resulting from drugs taken in tandem with diabetes medications.
Look for a licensed, experienced pharmacist with expertise in diabetes or eldercare who can offer suggestions for helping your parent take her medications on time, let her know which blood glucose meter may suit her best, and provide other drug and device advice.
To find a pharmacist knowledgeable in meeting the needs of the geriatric community, also called a senior care pharmacist, use the find-a-senior-pharmacist locator of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. Or look for a Rite Aid pharmacy near your parent. (Rite Aid pharmacists are specially trained in diabetes management, according to the ADA.)