1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Care of diabetics in dementia home

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Graybiker, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. Graybiker

    Graybiker Registered User

    Oct 3, 2017
    151
    Female
    County Durham
    Hi All,
    I am interested in your thoughts and opinions on this.

    Mam is borderline diabetic and on a sugar free diet. A friend of hers in the home is a diabetic who receives insulin before each meal. I have no problem with the overall care, it is one person in particular. She is the Activities Coordinator and will insist on giving chocolate bars as prizes. Also, when giving out tea or coffee, she will give cake, if there is some, to everyone, including mam and her friend.
    Today when she gave mam’s friend a chocolate bar I queried it, her response was, “life’s too short”.

    Is this dangerous or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

    Thanks x
     
  2. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,380
    Kent
    It is sometimes difficult as a visitor or resident with some clarity to know the full story but I too would be a little concerned on behalf of the resident of the flippant reply just in case. I assume the activities co ordinator is aware of the resident's diabetes rather than her comment just meaning eating chocolate to enjoy as life is too short? If blood sugars are regulated and checked properly I understand that sweet foods can be given in moderation...at dad's NH several diabetics had their blood sugars checked by the nurse before a decision to give sweet puddings was taken.
     
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,741
    Salford
    Tell her if she does it again you'll report it as a safeguarding issue.
    K
     
  4. Quizbunny

    Quizbunny Registered User

    Nov 20, 2011
    83
    My mum is a type 2 diabetic. The previous CH manager decided mum was never to have anything that she deemed 'sugar', that meant no desserts, no biscuit with her tea and no cake even when it was a residents birthday. It didn't matter how many times we told her that diabetics can have anything, just in moderation, we would still have to feed her chocolate, my mums absolute favourite, on the sly.

    At 88 and with advanced AD what exactly are we protecting her from. As far as I am concerned she has precious little to make her smile so she can have something lush now and then.
     
  5. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,636
    Female
    London
    I'm diabetic type II (I'm guessing that's the one we are talking about here and not the one where you need regular insulin injections) and I eat chocolate. Having diabetes doesn't mean you have to follow a totally sugar free diet, especially when someone is only borderline. As others have said, you can eat everything, but in moderation. As long as it's otherwise well controlled with regular blood tests, I really wouldn't worry too much. Not trying to sound glib, but the dementia is probably the bigger problem in terms of life expectancy.
     
  6. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    I agree with quizbunny, it wouldn't be top of my list of issues. My mother loves sweet food and I wouldn't see 'borderline diabetic' as an urgent reason to stop her eating it. Restricting it - yes if possible.
     
  7. Graybiker

    Graybiker Registered User

    Oct 3, 2017
    151
    Female
    County Durham
    Thanks for the input.
    She is aware this resident is diabetic and requires insulin. As far as I’ve seen her blood sugars are checked before each meal. I can see she is extremely thin and prone to falls and have heard other carers say her diabetes is getting worse.
    With mam being borderline I’m not too concerned about her, but I know they provide her with very nice (I’ve tried them ;) ) sugarfree desserts and cake.
    Thanks again x
     
  8. Graybiker

    Graybiker Registered User

    Oct 3, 2017
    151
    Female
    County Durham
    Understandably I think, I’m loathe to do this, but I do have other concerns re this member of staff,so am making mental notes. Nothing awful, just the occasional comment etc.
    However I do appreciate your input, thank you :)
     
  9. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,624
    USA
    My mother is in a care home, on a dementia ward. Her best friend, Miss T, is diabetic (I don't know which type). I know they monitor her blood sugars and give medication. I also think they quietly substitute no or lower sugar versions of things like ice cream at meals, and they do encourage Miss T to eat a balanced diet, but at other times she is given sweets. For example, they haven't denied her cake when it's someone's birthday, and at Christmas dinner she had her choice of pudding. I think they are reasonably careful and the staff (even the activities people) are aware, but they don't make a fuss about it. Of course I'm not privy to all the details of her care plan.

    I'm not sure if that is at all helpful. I can understand they unlimited huge bars of chocolate aren't helpful and certainly you should make your concerns known if you are really worried.
     
  10. Graybiker

    Graybiker Registered User

    Oct 3, 2017
    151
    Female
    County Durham
    I completely understand and to an extent agree. But I know here they provide sugar free desserts and cake and am not opposed to a biscuit with a cuppa, which they both get. I wasn’t though sure of the effects of a nut laden chocolate bar on an insulin dependent diabetic. I’m learning:)
    Thanksx
     
  11. Graybiker

    Graybiker Registered User

    Oct 3, 2017
    151
    Female
    County Durham
    Thanks,you’re not sounding glib, I asked for opinions and am happy to receive them. Yes,mam is borderline so I’m not too concerned about her, her friend is insulin dependent though, thin and frail, prone to falls.
    I u derstand the dementia is probably more life threatening, but the quality of life remaining concerns me and I’m ignorant of the effects of diabetes so I am grateful for your reply x
     
  12. Graybiker

    Graybiker Registered User

    Oct 3, 2017
    151
    Female
    County Durham
    Thanks :)
    Yes, not too concerned about mam, more her insulin dependent friend. With mam I’ve discovered a nice cappuccino is a good treat rather than a cake or similar, she does love a frothy coffee :)
     
  13. Graybiker

    Graybiker Registered User

    Oct 3, 2017
    151
    Female
    County Durham
    Thanks for your input, appreciate it.
    I know, in general,the home take a very similar approach and I’m not against that at all. I do think there is a balance to be had between “no sugar” and a disregard for residents welfare. I’m certainly not opposed to the kind of treats you mention, but this ladies attitude seems a little too careless for me. She doesn’t seem to know enough about individuals needs or be looking out for them in general.
    I think best approach is to keep an eye out for now. She is not deliberately cruel or anything, but perhaps not as aware as she should be.
    Anyway, thanks again x
     
  14. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,636
    Female
    London
    #14 Beate, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    Diabetes can affect body parts like eyes and feet, which is why they are regularly checked in diabetics. I also hover around the borderline, my feet and eyes are fine, I'm on Metformin, eat what I like and feel absolutey fine. I did go on a diabetes awareness course last year which was very interesting - is there something like this in your area? Or just ask the diabetic nurse for some booklets - there is really good stuff out here.

    I agree though that staff, whoever they are, should not ignore someone's medical condition like that. She can't just go against what everyone else is doing just because she feels like it. That shows carelessness that has no place in a care home.
     
  15. Graybiker

    Graybiker Registered User

    Oct 3, 2017
    151
    Female
    County Durham
    Thanks, that’s good to know :)
    I’ll get some info from docs next time I’m there.
    Mam was offered a place on a similar course, obviously not suitable for her,but didn’t think to do it myself. So much to think of with daughter, dad and mam, sometimes I need a reminder. Thanks :)
     
  16. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,624
    USA
    I agree that staff person seemed a bit cavalier; an entire bar of chocolate is quite a lot. Is there a nurse, matron, manager, or similar staff member you would feel comfortable talking with, perhaps?
     
  17. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,835
    Nottinghamshire
    Memantine @Beate or Metformin?
     
  18. Theresalwaystomorrow

    Theresalwaystomorrow Registered User

    Dec 23, 2017
    347
    I was just about to ask that question @Bunpoots
     
  19. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,636
    Female
    London
    Whoops. I make that mistake all the time, LOL.
     
  20. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    1,227
    Essex
    Hi Graybiker!

    Yes chocolate can be given in moderation. My dad used to be very strict with his diet for type two diabetes but with advanced Alzheimers he has the frightening habit of deciding that he is full after only a spoonful of his meals so I don't mind the home giving him some sugary foods. They are monitoring his diet very well but that said I don't like the attitude of an activity coordinator who says life is too short when handing out chocolate bars to PWDs who also have diabetes!

    MaNaAk
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.