Managing diabetes in older adults
Today is World Diabetes Day (WDD) which happens on the 14th of November every year all around the world. This day commemorates the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922. World Diabetes Day, established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), was created in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.
Early detection is vital in diabetes because early treatment saves lives, prevents medical emergencies, and reduces the risk of life-changing complications in the future. So, it's essential to ensure everybody knows the signs to look out for and understands the risks.
Diabetes UK, the UK's leading diabetes charity, reports that every two minutes, someone is diagnosed with diabetes. According to estimates, hundreds of thousands of people, unaware they are suffering from the condition, are yet to be diagnosed.
By working with Diabetes UK, we have the power to #RewriteTheStory for everyone diagnosed in the future - it could even be the story of someone you love.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Diabetic symptoms don't necessarily mean you have the condition, but you should always consult your doctor to be sure.
Common diabetes symptoms
- Lots of toilet trips, especially at night
- Feeling very thirsty
- Being more tired than usual
- Losing weight without even trying
- Itching or thrush in the genital area
- Wounds or cuts are taking longer to heal
- Eyesight becomes blurred
- Feeling hungry more often
Life-changing diabetes technology
Person Centred Software's Digital Care System helps to manage diabetes in older adults. The innovative care planning software, which gives care providers a complete overview across their care home group, enables carers to monitor individuals with diabetes much more closely.
Checking blood sugar levels
Monitoring blood sugar levels are important when you have diabetes. With the Digital Care Systems Observation Charts feature, which records vitals such as blood pressure and weight for each resident, carers can see blood sugar levels and quickly spot trends or changes. The data, shown in graphs, help care staff see improvement or deterioration.
Diabetes and oral health
Diabetes increases the risk of dental problems such as gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. In order to effectively manage diabetes, it's important to monitor and keep residents' mouths, teeth and gums healthy.
With the Digital Care System, the oral health feature allows care staff to record oral health assessments, create and maintain care plans tailored to people's needs, and capture detailed real-time recordings of oral care. Digital recording enables carers to flag issues so they can be addressed quickly by dental professionals; carers can also provide evidence of oral care support, which meets the NICE Quality Standards and CQC's Key Lines of Enquiries.
Encouraging regular exercise
Daily exercise could help to prevent and relieve diabetes. Government guidelines recommend that older adults exercise at least 150 minutes a week (30 minutes a day, five days a week).
Exercising can help the body use insulin better by increasing insulin sensitivity; it can also help people with type 2 diabetes improve their HbA1c - which can sometimes help people go into remission.
The Digital Care System makes planning and tracking exercises simple. With its detailed digital care plans, carers can ensure that each resident's needs are monitored, recorded and taken care of - downloading Person Centred Software's Activities calendar will also help to keep your residents active and engaged.
Fluid and Nutrition Monitoring
Your residents must drink enough every day to stay hydrated and healthy. Eating a balanced diet is also important and helps to keep weight, blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels under control.
The Digital Care Systems Fluid and Nutrition Monitoring feature helps carers to track residents' fluid and nutritional needs in real-time, ensuring residents get the right amount of fluid. Person Centred Software's Smart Cup Fluid Monitoring feature also has ways to monitor fluid intake and prevent dehydration.
Medication and insulin play an important role in diabetes management. Person Centred Software's electronic medicines management system, ATLAS eMAR, helps to reduce medication errors and simplify the medicine management process.
Care providers can deliver the right medication at the right time, keep residents' medical records accurate and up to date, and keep staff informed of their resident's allergies.
Give your care team more time to spend with residents and find out more about ATLAS eMAR.
"The Digital Care System and Atlas eMAR have been a massive help for managing diabetes at Care South. The eMAR system helps manage our residents' medicines safely and responsibly, and the Digital Care System has a number of features that allow our care team to monitor individuals with diabetes more effectively. We've rolled out both systems across fifteen residential services; the software is fantastic, and all care homes should be using this software!''
Marie Taylor, Chief Executive, Bedford Citizens Housing Association