Who believes that elders who cannot do teach?

December 1, 2014

Q: Who believes that elders who cannot do teach?

A: Arise Home Health Care

Meat and potatoes. You’ve probably heard of a “meat-and-potatoes” person, typically a no-frills eater who enjoys healthy portions. There are two important considerations in that description, especially for an elder with Type 2 diabetes: 1) potatoes, and 2) hearty portions. Potatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals. (See “Why You Should Be a Meat and Potatoes Guy.”1.) However, they DO have a high glycemic index; high GI foods cause blood sugar swings and insulin spikes. So, it’s good to balance the potato (one medium-sized spud) with a 2-3 oz. serving of meat, which has no glycemic index. (See “Serving Sizes and Diabetes,”2.) If the elderly person is open to learning about diabetes and how to regulate food intake, a sweet potato can be substituted for an Idaho or red, and chicken or seafood can take the place of a steak or beef roast. There are definite pluses associated with learning new ideas and behaviors because diabetes in the elderly can often lead to deterioration in brain function. (See “Type 2 Diabetes Deteriorates Brain Function”).

When it comes to caring for elderly loved ones in the home, Arise Home Health Care believes continuing education is essential––for caregiver and the cared for.

Eleanor* is 83 years old, and she’s lived alone for years. She was not happy about having to find home care. But she’d developed type 2 diabetes, so she needed to take better care of herself. Eleanor found our phone number on her church bulletin and called for a home health aide and companion.

Well, Eleanor calls her initial experience with us a “rocky start.” She knew WHAT she wanted done and exactly HOW she wanted it done––cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.––but had difficulty training our staff person. And of course, as you’ve probably experienced, the elderly can become impatient and frustrated when a caregiver doesn’t quite understand what’s required. We’re proud of how Mary responded to Eleanor’s criticism––with empathy, compassion, and an endless reserve of patience––and how, today, Eleanor cannot say enough about how dependable Mary is and how quickly she responds to Eleanor’s requests for any additional chore.

Did we mention that Mary also helps Eleanor regulate her Type 2 Diabetes? By assisting with meals and prepping dishes according to Eleanor’s dietary specifications, (See “Diabetes Superfoods.”4.) Mary helps stabilize Eleanor’s blood sugar readings, which she routinely enters into a log for tracking by our homecare registered nurse. Mary reminds Eleanor to take her insulin before meals, too. And because she’s knowledgeable about diabetes, Mary is also on the lookout for behaviors indicating glucose levels are too high (headache, fatigue, disorientation, thirst, frequent urination) or too low (chills, shakiness, clammy hands, racing pulse, sweating, blurred vision, irritability, confusion, anxiety).

Mary is a Home Health Aide; she came to us as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). So, she’s qualified to care for Eleanor’s personal care needs. She participated in orientation, online and with Paula Muggli, RNC, a public health nurse and certified Gerontological Nurse through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Mary trained an additional six hours prior to being assigned a client. (CNA’s are also required to take eight continuing education units each year or they will loose their license.)

We carefully hire and train staff. Each employee reviews the client’s Care Plan and Instructions with Paula Mugglie (if a CNA) or with Sue Christianson, Director of Business Development (if a Homemaker or Companion). And as we’ve mentioned, our clients train their caregivers. (Employees must be open to criticism and flexible to adapt to the particular––and sometimes peculiar––needs of elderly clients.)

Each client is unique––whether a “meat-and-potatoes” person or a diabetic with dietary needs. They allow us to come into their homes, share their lives, and learn about compassion, empathy, and listening to our hearts as we minister to their needs.

We enjoy serving them because “Arise cares.”

Do you have a question for our professional Arise Home Health Care staff? Contact Us

* Not the individual’s real name


1. “Why You Should Be a Meat and Potatoes Guy,” Details Magazine, www.details.com, http://www.details.com/blogs/daily-details/2013/01/why-you-should-be-a-meat-and-potatoes-guy.html

2. “Can Diet and Exercise Prevent Loss of Brain Cells in Type 2 Diabetes,” American Diabetes Association,

www.diabetes.org, http://www.diabetes.org/research-and-practice/patient-access-to-research/can-diet-and-exercise-prevent-loss-of-brain-cells-in-type-2-diabetes.html

3. “Serving Size and Diabetes,” WebMD, www.webmd.com, http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/understanding-serving-sizes

4. “Diabetes Superfoods,” American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org, http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/diabetes-superfoods.html