Living With Diabetes

Diabetes is a disorder in which the body is unable to properly regulate blood sugar Diabetesresulting in blood sugar levels that climb too high and over time, causes damage to various body tissues.  There are more than 1 million Australians currently living with diabetes and that figure continues to rise.

Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the body’s organs. Possible complications include damage to large (macrovascular) and small (microvascular) blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, teeth, feet and nerves.  Other parts of the body can also be affected by diabetes, including the digestive system, the skin, sexual organs, teeth and gums, and the immune system. Chronic sufferers may experience debilitating consequences.

In all cases of diabetes, the underlying issue is the body’s level of and/or reaction to the hormone insulin. It is the insulin’s job to keep our blood sugar levels down and our pancreas should naturally release some in response to increased blood sugar like after eating. When the body does not produce enough (or any) insulin or the cells of the body do not respond properly, then we have diabetes.

There are three main types of diabetes known as gestational, Type 1 and Type 2.

Generally, gestational diabetes is a disorder that some women experience during pregnancy affecting up to 4% and may lead to further complications for mother and baby.

Type 1 diabetes usually starts very early in life and will create a reliance on injectable insulin for survival and must maintain a proper injection schedule in order to keep their blood sugar levels under control.

Type 2 diabetes is the main form and accounts for around 90% of all cases. It generally develops in adults. This is either the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the body not responding properly to the insulin because cells have lost their sensitivity to it.

High blood glucose levels slow down your immune system which needs to prevent and fight infection. This makes it more difficult for the immune system to function correctly.

Keeping blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol levels and your weight within recommended ranges will help reduce your risk. Being a non-smoker is also very beneficial. It is therefore vital that those diagnosed with diabetes ensure they have regular check-ups to detect complications early and better manage the disease.

Through adopting healthy eating habits, reducing alcohol intake, being a healthy weight, and exercising, it is possible to lead a relatively normal, happy life. However, in some circumstances, the person may need further assistance. Regular monitoring of your blood glucose levels gives you information about how food, exercise medication, illness and stress affect your diabetes.

Complications

Diabetic coma – uncontrolled diabetes may lead to coma or unconsciousness therefore close monitoring and management is essential.  Common causes of diabetes coma include a missed dose of insulin or an acute infection in a person with type 1 diabetes. Often this is the first sign that a person has developed type 1 diabetes. If this does occur, you are recommended to seek immediate medical assistance. Without urgent attention, the person may suffer from brain damage or worse case scenario, may die.

Cardiovascular – high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease and stroke often accompany diabetes. Up to 80% of deaths in diabetics are due to a heart attack or stroke.

Nervous system – chronically elevated blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage that may present as numbness often in the feet. Simple, minor foot infections can often lead to serious infections, which if left too long may result in the need to amputate part of the foot and leg. Up to 85 diabetics undergo lower limb amputations in Australia each week.

Kidney disease – About one third of people who have had diabetes for more than 15 years will eventually suffer from kidney disease.

Eye disease – as a result of diabetes, often the retina of the eye is attacked known as diabetic retinopathy leading to blindness.

Depression – about twice as common among diabetics as it is in the general population. The full cause is not clear but possibly from the stress of living with a chronic illness and the direct impact of metabolic changes on the brain.

Sexual function – at lease 50% of men with diabetes will experience erectile dysfunction as a result of nerve, circulatory or other complications. Women with diabetes can experience inconsistent menstrual cycles and earlier onset of menopause.

Overweight – almost all children with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. For adults, being overweight substantially increases your risk of developing diabetes. Obesity decreases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Therefore, exercise plays a very important role in maintaining weight and healthy blood sugar levels.

Our carers are often assisting people with the management of their diabetes from doctor’s appointments to daily tasks that they are now inhibited due to the complications with their diabetes.

More information from Diabetes Australia

 

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In-home Care – how you like it.

Research shows that we are most comfortable in our own homes, whether we are sick, and recovery at homeinfirm or just needing a little assistance throughout our daily lives; it is proven that our recovery, our mental well being and our quality of life is at its best when we are able to remain in our own comfort zone of our homes.

It can happen to any of us at any time in our lives and most often it is when we least expect to need assistance. Accidents do happen and we understand that. Getting old is a fact of life and we understand that as well.

Our carers can provide the non-medical services you may need, whether it’s companionship for an elderly parent while you are at work, help with groceries and errands, a helping hand with household chores or a simple reminder to take the medication there is a vast array of services our carers can offer.  We even have a client that suffers from MS and requires our carer to assist her in loading her target shooting gun for her practice!

For instance, a beautiful lady that just had twins that required endless attention and a massive drain on the mother’s energy and sleep. With a carer coming into the house to attend to some of the household chores (like endless washing) and ensuring there is a hot meal prepared for the evening can allow the new mother to focus on attending to her babies during the settling in period. And her husband was surely thrilled with the difference it made having a little extra support around their time of need in the home.

For some people, hiring a home carer for post-operative recovery can be an expensive luxury they thought they couldn’t afford. But there are many benefits that it can give for your loved ones at home who are in need of professional care after surgery, and you may be surprised just what value for money this support offers.  Post-operative recovery is rarely an easy process. In fact, it can be a delicate phase in any surgical procedures especially where you have to undergo special recovery steps or physical rehabilitation, things can even become more difficult and a helping carer to call in and offer the assistance can make all the difference. The patient will also recover more rapidly in their own environment.

Can you image the difficulty of being sent home with nobody else there when you are stuck in a wheelchair after surgery or an accident? But with a carer for just a few hours each day to help you get ready for the day, take care of the household matters and take you for a walk around the block or a nearby park can turn the experience into a whole new joy. The family can be rest assured also that you are receiving care and attention that they may not be able to offer since we all live so far away in our modern busy lives. The good thing is that the entire family can help you towards recovery in their own special ways as well.

Since the carers are in your own home, you can get a sole attention from them with tailored planning for the time just for you. Moreover, home caregivers can offer a different kind of companionship. They are not just going to help physically but will work on your patient’s emotional health too. And there are some tasks that are just better handled by someone that is not related since we are sometimes very private people and don’t want our family to have to wash us or change us to keep our dignity. But a carer that is solely there for your assistance is a professional that will overcome any of those issues.

At Your Home Care we believe in offering you the same carer each and every time.  Wouldn’t you rather recover or have support at home in your time of need?

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Even The Carer Needs A Break

If you are caring for a person with dementia, you may at times feel totally exhausted and need a little caring yourself; just a bit of ‘time out’ to regain your energy, to visit the hairdresser or catch up with an old friend. Taking a break from being the carer is important for anyone providing day to day care for someone with dementia.take a break

Taking a break is important for all those involved as caring for someone with dementia can be physically and emotionally tiring, demanding and stressful. Families and carers can easily become isolated from social contacts, particularly if they are unable to leave the person you are caring for.

Taking a break is important also for those with dementia since they too need a holiday or some time out and create happy memories. It gives the person an opportunity to socialise and meet other people, and to get used to other people providing support and caring for them.

All too often the carer puts their own needs last on the list of priorities to the detriment of themselves and sometimes creating their own health breakdown. Sometimes it is not knowing that help is available or where or how to organise that break. Or sometimes they just don’t feel they could never leave their loved ones and need to stay and provide the care constantly by themselves. 

But there are lots of ways to take a break depending on what suits you and your family. The person with dementia can also get to enjoy themselves with new or familiar experiences which can feel either exciting or create anxiety if they haven’t even broken those ties. We usually find it is a very positive enhancement to their quality of life.

Other family members and friends may be happy to help out by giving you a break from caring. Often it’s just a matter of asking.

You may be eligible to also have your break funded by the Federal or State Government, therefore taking the burden of having the break away from you. Sometimes the break may be offered in a specialised centre for people with dementia.

The break may range from a few hours to several days a week depending on needs. Another way to take a break is to have a care worker come to the house to enable you to do things outside the house. They may also accompany the person with dementia to an activity that they enjoy. This is often called in-home respite as it begins and finishes at home. We often find this is the most positive break for both carer and the person with dementia.

It is common for people with dementia to find new environments and new people unsettling. Because of this it is important to plan ahead for a positive respite experience. Many families and carers have found it useful to start using regular respite as early as possible so that everyone can get used to sharing dementia care. It is often best to start with small breaks and build up to longer ones.

You will know best how far in advance to tell the person with dementia about the break. Reassure them if they are anxious and make sure that they know that you are positive about the break, even if you’re feeling a little anxious yourself. Talking with other families and carers about ways they’ve managed to make respite a positive experience may give you some practical ideas for managing.

Our experience has been that having the same carer each and every time the carer wants to have that break then reassures the person with dementia that there is some routine and a familiar face that they have formed a bond with.  That is a win/win for both sides.

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Testimonial_ R from Deception Bay

As a customer of Your Home Care for nearly 3 years I have always found Linda and her team to be helpful, professional and prompt. The staff she employs who come into my home to look after our 4 year old’s high care needs are very caring and trustworthy. They are a part of our family, we refer to them as our angels! If we have a problem I know I can contact Linda and the problem will be dealt with promptly and professionally, and I have always found that Linda and her staff are willing to go the extra mile to assist us.

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Testimonial_ Ms m

“Our family was impressed by the quality of your workers and how the care provided was adapted to our individual needs. We needed a young and efficient carer that our high-needs young adult could relate to, but with enough authority to support our two autistic pre-teens and a child. We were delighted to have Your Home Care with us!”

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Home Nursing taking the stress off carers

This story in the Daily newspaper highlights the difference that Your Home Care is making by relieving the stress on families, whatever their circumstances or age.

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Testimonial – Mrs G

I feel so much better since the girls started supporting me, and they obviously have alot of experience.

Mrs G

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Help is at hand as the years creep away

Sunshine Coast Daily_help is at hand   “a quick visit every day or two to help with showering, making the bed or washing clothes could help the elderly maintain independence,
and start each day afresh with dignity. For the full story about how we are making a difference to people’s lives, follow the link

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Home Care is a Low Cost Option

The Sunday Mail-Home Care is a Low Cost Option    this article aims to inform people that home care is an option for all ages, and the benefits to busy families of having someone come to their home are huge.

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Could you do with a better nights sleep?

Do you need to sleep better?

If you are often tired, irritable and not giving your best during the day, you may need more (or better quality sleep).

Here are some ways to do that:

•Regularly practise a relaxation exercise in the evening can help you wind down and prepare for sleep

•Try not to read, eat, work or watch TV in bed. Your bedroom must be a place associated with going to sleep.

•If you can’t get to sleep after about 15 minutes, get out of bed and do something not too stimulating (e.g. watch TV or read a book) in another room. Once you feel sleepy again, go back to bed.

•Repeat the process if you still can’t get to sleep.

•Keep to a routine at night as much as possible, so your body recognises it as a signal to wind down, ready to sleep.

•Don’t have a heavy meal just before bed, as your body will be working hard to digest it.

•Avoid coffee and cigarettes after 6pm. If you do have coffee or cigarettes at night, don’t have them too close to bed time

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