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Treatment of diabetes in an older person
fcl posted:
I'm concerned abut my mother. she has had diabetes for about 10 years and has known about it for about 3. She is 79. I'm worried about her diabetes care. It's quite simple - she was told to lose weight and that she'd manage her diabetes like that. I don't know enough about this to be of much help

The only treatment she appears to be getting is a blood draw every 6-8 weeks. She doesn't seem to be worried and isn't following any of the diet advice (especially concerning sweets, desserts, etc.). Her opinion is that she doesn't have any diabetes symptoms so she doesn't worry. The fact that she is virtually blind and that this was caused by her diabetes doesn't stress her at all. She somehow thinks that she will know when the time comes for her to do something about her diabetes. AAAARRRGGHHH!

So, my first question is - is it normal to only have a blood draw every so often and nothing else as a follow-up? Oh, and she has no idea what her numbers are because she never asks.

My second question is - how do I go about knocking some sense into that stubborn head? I mean, how do I explain it in terms that are plain and simple that she really does need to take more care of herself diet-wise?
davedsel57 responded:
Hello and welcome.

You can education yourself about Diabetes first. Here is a link to the WebMD Diabetes Health Center:

I understand what you are going through. My 82 year old father has had Type 2 Diabetes for 30 years. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year and is in a very good assisted living facility. They administer his medications and manage his diabetes for him. Before living there he lived alone since my mother passed away in 2000. He got so confused about his medications and was not eating right at all.

I guess just try and talk to your mother about the serious complications that can happen to Diabetics. Maybe buy a testing kit and test her at home often. Most of us see our doctors about every 3 months for blood work.

I know how frustrating this is for you. I truly hope you can help your mother understand the importance of controlling her Diabetes.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


DavidHueben responded:
You are unlikely to change her behavior at this late stage of her life.

We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.

- Winston S. Churchill

fcl replied to davedsel57's response:
Thanks Dave. When I try to mention her diabetes she just says she doesn't have a problem with it, i.e. she has no symptoms. I've tried to explain that a major danger of diabetes is that it has a cumulative effect and that once you start to have "symptoms" (like losing your eyesight, for instance) it's pretty well too late to do anything about it. There are things I've noticed about her that I find worrying but she thinks are normal. She fills her hot water bottle with boiling water and doesn't think it's too hot to put her feet on directly ...

In any case, she'll be staying with me for 3-4 weeks at the end of the year. I'll try the testing kit. You never know.

Thank you for your advice.
fcl replied to DavidHueben's response:
David, I hate to admit this but I'm sure you're right. Doesn't stop me worrying though

Thanks for answering.

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