The Truth About Diabetes Myths
September 6, 2017Helping a senior with diabetes can be difficult, especially since there’s so much false information out there concerning the condition. Being a better family caregiver to someone with diabetes depends on having the correct information. If you’re confused about what to believe and what not to, below are some myths about diabetes and the truth about them.Myth: Diabetes isn’t all that serious.Truth: Diabetes should not be taken lightly. It is a serious and chronic disease that leads to more deaths each year than AIDS and breast cancer combined. People with diabetes are at twice the risk for a heart attack. Other complications of diabetes include stroke, amputations, kidney disease, and blindness. Helping your parent to keep their diabetes under control can reduce the risk of developing complications due to diabetes. One way a professional home care provider can assist you in managing your parent’s diabetes is by reminding them to take medications and check their blood sugar levels.Myth: People who are overweight will get diabetes.Truth: While it is true that obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, there are lots of other factors that contribute to a person developing diabetes, such as family history and lifestyle. Sadly, this myth has led to people ignoring the other risk factors for diabetes. In truth, the majority of overweight people do not develop diabetes and people who are at a healthy weight can also develop diabetes. However, if your parent already has diabetes and is overweight, shedding some weight can help them to control blood sugar levels better. A home care provider can help your parent in their weight loss goals by preparing healthy meals and encouraging them to be physically active.Myth: Diabetics catch colds and other illnesses more easily than other people do.Truth: Diabetes doesn’t make your parent any more likely to catch a cold than anyone else. However, when your parent does get ill, it can be harder to keep diabetes under control. For that reason, your parent should never skip out on getting an annual flu shot. Home care providers can drive seniors to the doctor to receive a flu shot, or to other medical appointments.Myth: Diabetics should not eat any sweets.Truth: Sweets aren’t any more of a “no no” for your diabetic parent than they are for anyone else. They can be eaten in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Your parent should focus on eating healthy foods and eat sweets only in small portions and on special occasions. A home care provider can assist your parent with making healthy food choices and ensure that desserts are served in proper portion sizes.