For those living with diabetes or caring for someone who does, life can feel overwhelming. Diabetes doesn’t rest, and neither do the demands of its care. The physical and mental toll can be excruciating. And, when complications arise, the stakes get even higher. Fortunately, home healthcare options exist to lighten the load and improve diabetes outcomes – especially when complications occur.

How might someone with diabetes benefit from home healthcare? First, let’s clarify what diabetes is and then explore how home healthcare can help.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition in which a person’s body produces too much glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood due to problems with the hormone insulin. There are two types: type 1 and type 2. Both are serious and require intense monitoring and care, such as monitoring sugar, taking insulin tablets or shots, carrying healthy snacks, exercising regularly, getting regular checkups and lab tests and more.

The demands of living with diabetes cannot be underestimated. For example, many people living with diabetes can’t simply get up and walk out the door! Sugar levels must be monitored, and snacks must be prepared. Diabetes care never hits the “pause” button, and caregivers never can either. Serious health results can occur if diabetes isn’t managed carefully– such as losing one’s eyesight. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 38 million people in the U.S. have diabetes (11.6%), and 29% of seniors (age 65 and older) have diabetes.

How might a home healthcare provider help?

There are many situations in which a skilled in-home healthcare provider can assist with and even improve diabetes outcomes. Here are a few:

 New diagnosis. A qualified nurse providing home care can aid in the successful transition into the “new normal” for a newly diagnosed person. If you or your loved one has type 1, for example, establishing a new routine of monitoring blood sugar, administering medication or shots, preparing healthy food and snacks and simply creating new habits can help prevent health complications in the future.

Adherence. For individuals in all stages of the diabetes journey, adhering to a care plan is crucial. A skilled nurse can ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible — and check and see if anything is getting overlooked. Creating the long-term behavioral changes necessary to protect one’s health with diabetes is critical.

A caregiver can help patients create new schedules and routines that “stick” and reverse bad habits that could lead to serious health problems.

Emotional support. Diabetes care doesn’t stop and is emotionally taxing. For example, eating the same breakfast every day and then, out of nowhere — an insulin spike.

According to the non-profit Mental Health America, those living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Moreover, providing care for a loved one with severe diabetes or diabetes complications can harm your mental health over time. Are you burned out providing diabetes care for a loved one? Or have you hit a wall managing your diabetes? Having a skilled nurse providing home care for diabetes on your side makes a huge difference.

Serious complications. It’s a scary reality: Diabetes can ravage one’s body. According to the Centers for Disease Control, those with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke; eye damage and danger of blindness; kidney disease or failure requiring dialysis (one in three adults with diabetes has chronic kidney disease); nerve damage that affects the feet, legs and more; damage to blood vessels in the feet that can lead to amputations or hard-to-treat infections; the list goes on.

Should a severe complication arise, a caregiver can provide at-home wound care, manage medications (all of them, not just insulin), monitor skin condition and nerve pain and facilitate effective communication with physicians.

Everyone’s experience with diabetes is unique. No matter where you or your loved one are in your diabetes care journey, diabetes should be taken seriously. When complications arise, having a skilled diabetes care provider in your home offering guidance, hands-on healing and emotional support can bring a level of security that is simply priceless.

Maxim Healthcare Services provides a range of in-home care services in over 35 states. Reach out to your local Maxim office for more information on the services near you!