Diabetes is a chronic health condition that occurs when a person’s blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high which can increase their risk of future health complications, such as damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes impacts over 37 million people in the United States. In fact, in the last 20 years, the number of American adults diagnosed with diabetes has tripled and of those people, 29% are over 65 years of age.
As a common health condition seen in skilled nursing centers, it is important to understand the care those living with diabetes may require during their post-acute care stay to prevent future complications or other long-term health issues that can impact their quality of life.
High-quality post-acute care in a skilled nursing center is essential to a diabetic’s overall recovery. They may be experiencing symptoms that can impact their ability to recover from a serious hospitalization such as extreme fatigue, increased hunger and thirst, slow healing wounds, frequent urination, and numbness/pain in the hands or feet. Skilled nursing care provides those with diabetes the care they need to help manage their unique symptoms, while offering the tools they need to improve their quality of life and overall health.
While diabetic care at a skilled nursing center can be modified to fit each individual’s unique medical needs, it is important to understand the basics of what to expect when you or your loved one require post-acute care after a serious medical event.
Individualized Diabetic Care Plan
If you are a diabetic and recovering from a hospitalization at a post-acute care center, your healthcare team will work with you to create a comprehensive care plan customized to your diabetes health needs. Your care plan may include monitoring your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, establishing a meal plan modified to your diabetic needs, medication management, and a therapy program designed to increase your physical activity, provide pain management support, and prevent additional injury such as a fall.
During your stay at a Prestige Care Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, our highly skilled nurses and therapists will work with you to establish an Individualized Care Plan based on your diabetic and rehabilitation health goals. We will work diligently to help you manage your diabetes while also optimizing your recovery to ensure you are able to return home as quickly as possible. This may include a series of comprehensive, ongoing evaluations and a variety of treatment options.
Upon your return home, we will also work with you and your family to establish a post-discharge plan designed to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle while managing your diabetes at home. At Prestige, your rehabilitation journey is measured every step of the way to ensure you are receiving the appropriate level of care for your unique diabetic health needs.
Specialized Medical Team
It is important to consider post-acute care if you are recovering from a hospitalization and need assistance managing your diabetes. A skilled nursing center provides a full range of clinical expertise specialized to meet a patient’s diabetic care needs. During your post-acute care stay, your interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals will work with you to discuss your diabetic care plan options, help you manage your care, and provide you with the tools you need to return home to your active lifestyle. Your healthcare team will include nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, registered dietitians, certified nursing assistants, and physical, speech and occupational therapists. Their goal is to ensure you are receiving the care you need to help manage your diabetes while also recovering from your hospitalization.
At Prestige, our highly trained staff is dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of each individual while offering a comprehensive range of care solutions tailored to each patient’s unique diabetic care needs. Our licensed therapy teams are committed to providing individualized treatment plans that may include pain management techniques, exercises to improve physical health, and resources to manage fatigue. During your stay at a post-acute care center, your clinical team will also work with you to help you manage your diabetes and offer continued support throughout your healing process. This may include monitoring your blood sugar levels, wound care, and assistance with activities of daily living – bathing, dressing, and eating.
Modified Dietary Plan
If you are living with diabetes and are recovering from a hospitalization at a post-acute care center, you may require a modified diet to help control your blood sugar levels. Your dietary team will work with you to develop a nutritional plan that meets your unique needs to ensure you are meeting your rehabilitation goals.
They may recommend an increase in protein consumption as it is slower to digest and reduces the impact on your blood sugar levels. You may also require a controlled carbohydrate diet of high-quality, plant-based sources such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, squash, and berries. These foods are filled with fiber which can also aid in slower digestion and help manage your blood sugar levels. Your registered dietitian may also recommend modified portion sizes to prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking or dropping.
At Prestige, we tailor each person’s diet plan depending on their health needs and overall rehabilitation plan. Our registered dietitians and dietary team take into consideration the variety of nutritional needs for every individual and work with each person to create a modified meal plan to ensure they are receiving the appropriate diet needed to manage their diabetes and reduce their blood sugar levels.
We also provide educational resources to ensure you are making the correct food choices during and after your post-acute care stay. This may include information on portion control, how to make smart food substitutions, and how to prevent a blood sugar spike. In addition to a variety of resources, we also help each person develop a post-discharge nutrition plan to ensure they are receiving the nutrients they need to manage their diabetic health and blood sugar levels.
Blood Sugar Management
If you or a loved one are recovering from a hospitalization at a post-acute care center, and live with diabetes, you will require specialized care to help maintain your health. This level of care will primarily focus on balancing your blood sugar levels to avoid high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Your blood sugar levels can impact a variety of aspects of your care plan such as medication or diet needs which is why a person with diabetes requires constant blood sugar monitoring to maintain an optimal level.
Our post-acute care team at Prestige will help you monitor your blood sugar levels regularly to ensure any modifications to your medication or diet are adjusted. Depending on the type of diabetes a patient may have, we will use tests such as a glucose meter to monitor daily blood sugar levels throughout the day and provide insulin as needed. Those with Type 1 diabetes may require hourly tests, while those with Type 2 diabetes require less frequent testing, typically between meals and before bedtime. We will also work with other members of your healthcare team to ensure you are receiving the correct nutrition and exercises to maintain your blood sugar levels and continue a successful rehabilitation.
Educational Resources & Support
The goal of post-acute care is to successfully transfer patients from hospital to home, or senior living community, by providing the tools and resources they need for each phase of their recovery and through their transition home. This ensures patients have the knowledge and support they need to enhance their well-being and prevent future complications. Diabetes education can help a person understand and manage their health condition, recognize severe symptoms, and make educated decisions about their own health.
At Prestige, our goal is to set each person up for success upon their return home. We provide each person with the tools and skills they need to help manage their diabetes and monitor their symptoms. This may include information on how to maintain a healthy weight, nutritional tips, how to control your blood sugar levels, and how to prevent further diabetes symptoms. Our care teams are dedicated to supporting each person as they navigate their rehabilitation journey and return home to their independent lifestyles.
Contact the Prestige Care Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center nearest you to learn more about how we can help you manage your diabetes during your post-acute rehabilitation.