Diabetes is so common in elderly adults that it is estimated that as much as a fourth of the senior population in the United States is affected by the disease. With diabetes, the body cannot control the production of insulin, a chemical that helps control blood glucose levels. Besides insulin injections to control blood sugar, seniors can eat a carefully controlled diet to help regulate it.
Family caregivers need to know a lot about diabetes as they care for their aging relative. After all, if the elderly person doesn’t eat the right food at the right time, they can get very sick. Complications from diabetes include heart disease, eye problems, foot sores, kidney issues, and more. In extreme cases, the elderly person can even slip into a diabetic coma. In order to keep their blood sugar at the appropriate levels, elderly adults need to have several small snacks throughout the day.
It’s important for family caregivers and elder care providers to have the right kind of snacks on hand for a diabetic senior. Otherwise, they may grab just any old snack and not realize that it could be contributing to a serious health issue. However, choosing healthy, diabetic-friendly snacks can be difficult. Family caregivers and elder care providers should pick snacks that are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They should avoid snacks that are highly processed, high carbs, and high sugar.
Here are some of the best snacks to have on hand for an elderly person with diabetes:
- Hard boiled eggs.
- Apple slices and peanut butter.
- Yogurt and berries.
- Guacamole and corn chips.
- Beef sticks or beef jerky.
- Cottage cheese.
- Crackers and sliced cheese.
- Trail mix.
- Hummus and carrot sticks.
- Fresh fruit and cheese slices.
- String cheese.
- Peanut butter whole grain toast.
- Veggie chips.
- Rice crackers.
The worst snacks that diabetic seniors can have include:
- Sugary cereal.
- Fried potatoes.
- Fruit juice.
- Potato chips.
- Ice cream.
- Candy bars.
- Energy drinks.
Snacks between meals are very important for seniors with diabetes. With the right snacks, they can keep their blood sugar levels fairly stable throughout the day and boost their energy levels. Family caregivers and elder care providers need to help the elderly adult manage their diabetes, just as they help with other daily care tasks like housekeeping, meal prep, grooming, and more.
Diabetes must be taken seriously, and it can be a real challenge for elderly adults to manage on their own. With the support and help of family caregivers and elder care providers, the elderly person has the best chance of keeping their blood sugar levels under control and boosting their overall health and wellness.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Matawan, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Lares Home Care 888-492-3538 or 732-566-1112.