Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are busting at the seams with type 2 diabetes patients. Nearly 30 percent of this elderly population is living with diabetes along with a host of other health issues or disabilities, while relying on the care of someone else to manage the disease’s burden with medication, diet, monitoring, and exercise. Unmanaged diabetes can create deeper medical complications like organ damage or even death.
American Diabetes Association Standards for Long-Term Care
In recent years, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has issued detailed care standards for elderly patients in long term care facilities living with diabetes. 2018 standards now include things such as:
- Hypoglycemia risk is the most important factor in determining glycemic goals due to the catastrophic consequences in this population.
- Simplified treatment regimens are preferred and better tolerated.
- Liberal diet plans have been associated with improvement in food and beverage intake in this population. To avoid dehydration and unintentional weight loss, restrictive therapeutic diets should be minimized.
- Physical activity and exercise are important in all patients and should depend on the current level of the patient’s functional abilities.
- The use of sliding scale insulin is to be avoided.
- Glyburide has been listed as one of the worst diabetes medication for elderly and should be avoided.
In general, care goals and a plans should be established at the time of admission to the nursing home or long-term care facility for all chronic conditions, including diabetes.
Improve Diabetes Managment
Diabetics who live in assisted living facilities and nursing homes must constantly monitor their blood glucose every day through a variety of methods because having a safe blood glucose level is very crucial to sustain good physical health. Depending on test results, people with diabetes may need to act accordingly to bring their levels under control. Caregivers in assisted living facilities must assist with treatments that may include medication, eating, exercising, or drinking. Most assisted living facilities have an RN in the building at all times. The RN may be required to act on written orders from a diabetic resident’s doctor to help and staff in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities should be responsible and trained to lead those tasks.
Don’t Let Poor Diabetes Care Hurt Your Loved One
The Illinois nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti are intimately familiar with the care provided at nearly every nursing facility in the Chicago area. We have worked with dozens of clients winning numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of victims of nursing home negligence and abuse. We have seen legal accountability spur changes on a system-wide level that improves care for others, including those with vulnerable conditions like diabetes.
Our consultations are always free, confidential, and handled by one of our skilled attorneys. Click here to fill out an online request form or call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872.