When an older adult has diabetes, keeping the condition under control is essential to preventing serious complications. When left unchecked, diabetes can lead to heart disease, eye damage, kidney problems, and more. Managing diabetes is a life-long task and it’s not always easy to do. Recently, some new research indicates that the tuberculosis (TB) vaccination may hold important clues to better diabetes control.
TB Vaccine and Diabetes
Researchers at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital joined forces to determine how the TB vaccine might affect people who have diabetes. For the study, 50 participants with type 1 diabetes received a TB shot and another one four weeks later. After more than three years, the blood sugar levels of the diabetics were significantly lower. In fact, blood sugar levels were almost normal according to Dr. Denise Faustman, one of the authors of the study.
The researchers say that the vaccine didn’t allow diabetics to stop using insulin, but it did lead to a dramatic improvement. If further research shows the treatment to be effective, it could be an inexpensive way to lower blood sugar. However, experts caution that much more research is needed.
Tips for Managing Diabetes
The study certainly shows promising results but using a TB vaccine to treat diabetes isn’t an approved treatment yet. For now, it’s best to help your aging relative to follow the doctor’s advice for managing diabetes.
Some things that help to keep the condition under control are:
-Knowledge: Learn as much as possible about the older adult’s condition. Make sure you understand the medicine they are taking and how to follow their meal plan.
-Diet: The way a person with diabetes eats can make a big difference in keeping their blood sugar levels down. In turn, it can affect how much of their medication they should take. Meals should be healthy and balanced, paying special attention to sugars and carbohydrates. If you’re unsure how to prepare appropriate meals, ask the doctor for assistance or request a referral to a dietician.
-Exercise: Exercising helps to burn off blood sugar, so it can help to lower levels. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise on the majority of days during the week. Of course, talk to the doctor before your aging relative starts a new exercise routine.
-Medication: Be sure the older adult uses their medicines correctly. It’s also important to store insulin properly as it can lose its effectiveness if it gets too old or is kept at the wrong temperature.
Home care is another great way for older adults to manage diabetes. Home care providers can prepare healthy meals that conform to the meal plan. In addition, home care providers can assist seniors to be more physically active. They can go for walks with them, drive them to the gym, yoga studio, or another place where they can join a group exercise class, or they can monitor them while they exercise at home. Home care can also remind diabetic seniors to check their blood sugar and take their medications.
If you or a senior family member are considering hiring Home Health Care in Wayne, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC. In-home senior care servicing Bergen & Passaic Counties. Call today (973) 427-3553.
I started my career as an ICU nurse over 30 years ago. I have functioned as an educator and preceptor mentoring new nurses in the clinical arena. I have sat on many Patient Care committees authoring a variety of patient care protocols.
In 2007, I saw an opportunity to improve the delivery of patient care services in the home and founded Caring Solutions Home Care. Over the last 10 years I have functioned as the Director of Nursing overseeing all client care, administrative and personnel operations.